chapter nineteen - smiles

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Hello readers! First and foremost, I'd like to express my great appreciation on behalf of the 553 reads and 19 votes this book currently has. You do not know how much your support means to me and it's because of that that I continue to write this book. Secondly, as chapter eighteen was short, this chapter will be normal, just to assure you. Also, I hope you like the GIF I added for this specific chapter. Lastly, I think that from Chapter Twenty onwards I'm going to add a 'song of the chapter' and the lyric video of the song. Requests for a certain song relating to the chapter will be most appreaciated.
But once again, thanks for all the support!😘😘😘

When Lily woke on 26th December, a feeling of great excitemt was residing in her stomach. She sat in bed for a minute, biting her lower lip, trying to remember...

Oh right! Marlene's Christmas dinner-party-slash-sleepover!

She sprang out of bed with an excitement no normal teenager felt in the morning and rushed to the bathroom.
She took a quick shower, brushed her teeth and washed her face, and then blow-dryed her hair. Brushing it out, she realized it was getting really long. It now sat just above her bum.

She dabbed a bit of shiny lipgloss onto her lips and applied a smidge of mascara and eyeliner. Then she quickly got dressed into a off-shoulder purple silk dress that ended just below her knee because while it was freezing cold outside, the Mckinnon Manor was as warm as Africa. But just because of the weather, she threw on a matching lavender cardigan. Slipping on a pair of flats, she charged downstairs, glancing at the clock on the wall. According to the time, Marlene and her mum would be around to pick Lily up in just twenty minutes.

She entered the kitchen and took a seat next to Petunia.

"Good morning, Dad, Petunia." She said cheerfully. Her father, sipping a cup of coffe grinned at her, but Petunia just ignored.

Sighing, Lily stared down at the rough wood of the table. Just last night at Christmas dinner, something terrible had happened, something that included Vernon Dursley's soup and an owl and apparently Petunia was still mad about it.

Lily accepted the cereal her mum made her and began to swallow it down in big bites, glancing at the clock on the wall until at last she heard the sound of a commotion by the fireplace and out stumbled Marlene and Mrs Mckinnon.

"Why, hello, Aubrey, dear." Mrs Evans said. "I thought only Marlene would be coming." The two woman embraced each other.

"I thought so too," Mrs Mckinnon said, glaring at Marlene. Lily reminded herself to ask Marlene what that was about later. "Hello, Geoffrey, Petunia."

"Do you want a cuppa?" Mrs Evans asked.

"Oh no, Lizzie, dear, I can't trust Mark for too long." Both of them laughed and in the short time Lily ventured upstairs to grab her bag they'd already started a conversation.

"Oh, well,we must be off now. See you some time, I suppose." Lily hugged her mum and dad, waved to Petunia and then stepped into the fireplace, clutching a handful of floo.

"Mckinnon Manor!" She yelled and the green flames swallowed her up.

                                ***

She landed in the fireplace of a familiar house. Mckinnon Manor had always been her third home, next to Hogwarts and her home home.

The house was, as usual, filled with noise. It was the sound of seven boys and two girls hanging around in the backyard.

Lily dusted off her clothes as she stepped out of the fireplace. Smoothing a hand over her hair, she waited for Marlene and Mrs Mckinnon to floo back.

A minute later, Marlene appeared, covered in soot. Mrs Mckinnon arrived shortly after, also covered in soot. The three stood in the living room for a moment, polishing themselves again.

"C'mon, they're all dying to you see you again." Marlene said once most of the soot was off their clothes. She grabbed Lily's hand and they walked down the long hallway, through the kitchen, out the back door and into the back yard. A group of teenagers were on the snow-filled grass, laughing and hooting as they watched Mark and Magnus (Marlene's two older brothers) play one-on-one Quidditch.

"Look who decided to show up!" Marlene yelled, diverting their attention.

"Evans has been sent from the heavens!" Sirius yelled, getting up to his feet and running towards the two girls. When he reached them, he threw his arms around them in a hug.

"Since when have you liked me so much?" Lily laughed, patting his head playfully.

"Ever since our little chat the last time, I believe." He answered, his eyes twinkling. Marlene raised her eyebrows, ready to comment, but everyone else had caught up to them, embracing Lily in a hug.

"Hey, Mark, Magnus." Lily greeted and she hugged Marlene's brothers.

"Long time no see, little sis." Mark said, saluting her and Magnus nodded calmly.

Upon their request, she filled Marlene, Dorcas and Laurelle in about how Petunia had been so far.
She chatted with Remus and Peter for a while about the new chocolate bar Honeydukes had released (a triple fudge and caramel bar). Lastly, she sought out James.

He stood right at the back, leaning against a tree. His hands were in the pockets of his trousers, his hair falling down into his face as he glanced down at Marlene's little brother, Michael. Michael said something and he laughed, rendering Lily speechless for a second. She stared at the way the pale sun peeking out from the coulds caught his hair and turned it into a chestnut colour. She sucked in a nervous breath.

Lily excused herself from the group, trying to ignore Sirius and Marlene's smirks and made her way over to James.

"Hey, Potter." She said lightly. His head snapped up and he flushed slightly, muttering something to Michael. The little boy hugged Lily round the middle before rushing off.

"Hi, Evans." James said. He smiled at her - a genuine, cute smile - and she felt the ever-present butterflies in her stomach flutter nervously.

"I heard you had a row with your sister again on Christmas." James said quietly. Lily walked over and stood beside him, leaning against the tree, too.

"Yes, we did. I was helping my mum with dinner for our guests when Marlene's owl reached me. So naturally, I wrote her back. The problem is, the owl flew super fast, because next thing I knew, it was landing in Vernon - Petunia's fiance's - soup..." She said. He nodded , already knowing what happened next.

They stood in a comfortable silence for a moment, Lily staring at her group of friends, at Sirius, whom she'd just recently really befriended. James was staring off into the distance, thoughtfully.

Lily suddenly murmured, "Potter?"

"Evans?"

"I missed you. And everyone else. But also you."

There was a pause in which Lily waited with baited breath for James to reply and in which James stood in shock and amazement that Lily Evans, the girl who had always turned him down when he asked her out, was saying that she missed him.

Finally, he said it. "I missed you too, Evans. Even though it's only been two days."

And before he knew what was happening, Lily's arms were around his torso, her small face pressed into his pecs.

James was frozen with shock. First, Lily saying she missed him and now this, hugging him?

But he relaxed and brought his arms around her, his fingers rubbing the red strands of her hair.

She pulled away after a long time, red in the face. They eyes met, and for a second they stared into each other's eyes, green meeting hazel. Slowly, she smiled.
He smiled back.

                                  ***

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