Title: We did WHAT?
Rating: Um, 15, for brief mention of nudity?
Disclaimers: I don't own any characters, they belong to JKR and Joss. "The Key to Marauding" belongs to Anoron. Plot bunny adopted with her permission.
A/N: This is a one shot. I couldn't resist, although it didn't turn out as silly as I meant it to.
A/N2: Just some spelling and spacing corrections here, not an add-on. Please don't flame. LOL
James sighed as he drifted awake. He felt very good this morning. He was pretty sure it had something to do with the soft, curvy body currently spooned into his front side. He mentally blinked as that thought sharpened his awareness. He was waking up with a soft female form pressed quite intimately to his body, and he wasn’t terribly clear about how they had come to be that way. A soft, naked female form, against his equally naked and very-quickly-becoming-anything-but-soft body. Ut-oh. Screwing up his courage, he cracked one eye open. The other flew open in shock as he recognized the rich fall of deep red hair taking up his entire field of vision.
His half-conscious appreciation for the feminine flesh in his arms was supplanted by his instant and overwhelming reaction to the sudden knowledge that he was in bed, stark naked, with Evans. It was every good dream he had ever had, all at once. His happiness was marred by only one thought. How, exactly, had they ended up in bed? James had no memory of the previous night at all. Last thing he recalled was sitting in the Three Broomsticks with Remus and Peter.
As he tried to remember what happened after that, Lily shifted, her breathing changing as she began to waken. Unfortunately, her squirming pressed her bare backside firmly into James’ groin, and he had to bite back a groan. Then, suddenly, she was off the bed as if she’d been set afire.
Her glorious green eyes flashed dangerously when she saw him, and he realized that he wasn’t the only one who had no idea how they had ended up… wherever they were. His eyes flicked away from her for the entire half second it took him to realize that they were in no room he’d ever seen before. Hazel fixed on green again, however, when she hissed fiercely at him.
“If you don’t have a damned good explanation for this, Potter, I am going to kill you.”
James gulped. Okay, good feelings going away now. In a corner of his mind, he appreciated that she was apparently so angry that she didn’t seem to notice that she was standing in front of him in the nude, but the majority of his mind was scrambling to make sense of what was happening. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out except a very unmanly squeak. He cleared his throat and tried again.
“Er, Evans, I actually don’t have any explanation. At all. Nor even any idea really of what’s going on. And, erm, we may have a problem.”
Lily blinked at the completely cowed boy before her. Then her expression hardened. If this was one of his stupid Marauder pranks, she really WOULD kill him. Slowly. With her bare hands. Bare… She glanced at herself. A fiery blush so hot it clashed with her hair swept over most of her upper body and she snatched up the duvet from the bed and wrapped herself in it. In that moment, she wished she were anywhere but… wait… where was she? Her sharp gaze swept the unfamiliar room. “Potter, where are we?”
James grimaced as he took in the details of the tacky little room. Faded green shag carpet, peeling wallpaper, discoloured miniblinds on the windows. Even the cheap, blue, cotton sheets screamed tacky. And he had never seen any of it before. “I have no idea, Evans. I think that’s the real problem. I don’t remember anything since I was sitting in the Three Broomsticks with Remus and Peter. I assume that was yesterday. What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I was in Hogsmeade, with Candice and Michelle, shopping. We stopped into the pub for lunch. Then… um… nothing after that.”
“Then we have a very real problem. Not that I mind waking up with you in my arms, but I’d prefer knowing how I came to be sleeping that way. And why…” his face paled as he trailed off, staring at her hands. Surreptitiously, he pressed his thumb against the third finger of his left hand, and went from pale to deathly white. James swallowed hard, and rolled off the opposite side of the bed from her, looking around the room for his clothes and wand. A muscle started ticking in his jaw as he discovered a small stack of parchments. A quick glance at the top one confirmed what he was trying very hard not to believe. He had read halfway through the document before something even stranger dawned on him. Placing the parchments on the bed, he hurried into his clothes, which he’d found on the floor.
Lily watched James, thinking that his behaviour was stranger than she’d ever seen before. He was starting to worry her, if she wanted to be honest. This situation was too weird. His entire demeanour was different from the James Potter she knew. He wasn’t talking to her with the forced mature tones he usually did when he was trying to impress her, and he wasn’t acting the arrogant yet clownish prat that most of Hogwarts would recognize either. He’d barely looked at her once he rose from the bed, and was moving around the room, collecting clothing and grinding his teeth like he was having intense thoughts but didn’t want to let any of them slip out of his mouth. His expressions had run the gamut this morning, too. She’d never noticed before that his feelings reflected so clearly in his face if one chose to look. The first glimpse she’d caught had been happy, threaded with confusion. Then when she’d snapped at him, there had been fear. She was pretty sure he wasn’t afraid of her, but maybe he was afraid of what she thought of him? Was he really deep enough for that? And then he had looked shocked by something, bounced out of the bed and started moving around the room like a caged animal. Something was very wrong. He didn’t spare her a glance when he tossed a bundle of clothing at her.
“Get dressed, Lily. We have some things to figure out.”
Lily gaped at him. Then her emerald eyes narrowed. “You can’t order me about, Potter. I don’t-”
“We really don’t have time to argue, Lily. There are bigger things to think about, so just get bloody dressed!” he snarled, throwing her a frustrated glare.
Stunned, she stared at him for a moment, then snatched up her clothing and marched into the small lavatory in the corner of the ratty little room. The miniscule bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and the half-sized towels told her that they were in a hotel of some kind. A tacky, sleazy, cut-rate little rathole of a place. She took the time to shower, discovering along the way that something had definitely happened the night before. She wrinkled her nose at the dried evidence. She took several minutes getting clean, knowing that it would annoy the male in the next room, and intensely wanting to irritate him.
She left the bathroom just as he was about to pound on the door. In fact, he was standing there with his fist raised when she opened the aforementioned door. She arched one sculpted eyebrow at him. “Planning to hit me, Potter, or are you going to let me past?”
James reddened in startled aggravation. “Lily, I would never hit you. I don’t hit women. Why would you think I’d hit you?”
“I was being sarcastic, Potter. You were about to knock on the door and yell at me to hurry up in here, right?”
James nodded. “We have to talk, and wasting time in the bathroom isn’t going to make the situation go away. And we have a problem here, Lily. Beyond waking in the same bed with no memory of the past twenty-odd hours.”
Lily studied James carefully. He was still acting odd. “Why do you keep calling me Lily, Potter? You’ve been calling me Evans as long as you’ve known me. Why stop now?”
“Might have something to do with the fact that I can’t call you Evans anymore. Apparently ,your name isn’t Lily Evans anymore.”
Now she was confused. “And why wouldn’t it be?”
“Can you read French, Lily?”
“A bit, yeah. Why?”
“Read this. If you can’t, I’ll translate it for you.”
He handed her the small sheaf of parchments, and she stumbled over a bit of the top one before giving up. Not only was it a bunch of long, unfamiliar words, but everything was written in a fancy archaic script that made letters hard to make out. She pulled her wand out of her pocket and touched the parchment with it, whispering a translation spell, to no effect. She handed the parchments back and gave him a curious look. “What is that, Potter?”
“Well, Lily, apparently, last night at...” he glanced over one of the other documents, “7:45pm, we… that is, you and I… seem to have gotten… married.” He cringed and took a step back in self-defence as he waited for that to sink in. He wasn’t disappointed by her reaction.
“We… did… WHAT?!?!?!” Her eyes had gone from fiery emerald to glowing fluorescent green. “What the HELL are you playing at, Potter? We CAN’T have gotten married, you idiot. We’re not old enough! And why would our papers be written in French?”
“Lily, when did you turn sixteen?”
“Two days ago, as you well know.”
“Okay, you knew that my birthday was almost three months ago. And in Wizarding France, it’s completely legal for sixteen-year-olds to marry without parental consent. AND, in case the cheaply monogrammed stuff in the bathroom hasn’t told you yet, we seem to be in Paris. What we have to figure out now is how we’re going to deal with all this.”
“And you expect me to take your word for everything you just told me?”
“If you like, we can talk to the staff of this place. Do you speak French? Besides, you’ve never struck me as the oblivious type before, but haven’t you noticed the ring on your finger?”
“What ri-” she trailed off as she raised her hand, staring aghast at the slim gold band adorning the third finger. In a sudden panic reaction, she wrenched the ring off and threw it across the room. It bounced off the floor once, then vanished. She gasped when it reappeared, seated firmly on her finger again. “What…?”
“Lily, we got married in a wizard ceremony, in Paris. You can’t just throw the ring and act like it didn’t happen. Merlin, my family is going to kill me! Dad’s going to lecture about being irresponsible. Mum is going to be so hurt that she wasn’t involved. And Dawn, I don’t want to think about what my darling sister is going to do.” James had begun pacing as he ranted. Lily watched, bemused.
“So we get an annulment. No big deal, right? We’ve only been m-married” she stumbled over the word, “for a few hours. It can’t be that hard to end. Right?”
“Wrong.” James sighed heavily, turning to face her. “Lily, there’s no such thing as annulment, or divorce, in the Wizard world. If you had been older and planning to get married, you would have found that out. For that matter, that’s why ‘arranged’ marriages still apply to witches and wizards. If two couples have a Wizard marriage performed between their children, the marriage is binding, and irrevocable. That happens a lot among the more elitist purebloods. Magical marriage ceremonies are irreversible, Lily. You’re my wife, and I’m your husband. And we still have two years of school to get through. Which is why we have to figure out how to handle this situation. We can’t let anybody know, but we can’t keep it from our families and friends either.”
Lily had paled considerably throughout James’ explanation. She was somewhere between eggshell and paper at the moment. “We… we’re really… stuck this way?”
“Don’t sound so excited, Lily,” he grumbled into his chest, stung by her horrified expression.
She snorted. “Well, it’s all well and good for you, Potter. You’ve been after me all year. You should be ecstatic. You get to be married to the one person you seem to want, though the gods know why. Why me, James?” She grimaced sourly. “Why is this happening to me?”
James glowered at her. “Are you sure you couldn’t possibly make me feel any worse? I know you don’t love me, Lily, even if I worship the ground you walk on. So I’m a bit of a show-off around you. Did you never consider that I only act the way I do around you because I don’t know any other way to get your attention? Not everybody’s attention, Lily. Just yours. There are very few people who matter to me, and there’s nobody that matters to me more than you, and you treat me like something disgusting that you stepped in on the greenhouse floor. So now I get to spend the rest of my life loving someone who hates me. Yeah, I’m just over the moon.” Tears glimmered in his hazel eyes and he turned from her, taking a deep breath.
Lily watched him fight with himself, and thought about what he said. She opened her mouth, but faltered when she realized, she really didn’t know what to say. “I…”
“Don’t!” He rounded on her. “If you’re going to lie to make me feel better, don’t bother. I’m a big boy, Lily. And I do know how you feel about me, so just… don’t bother.”
Suddenly, Lily was ever so slightly amused. “You know how I feel do you? How exactly did you arrive at the notion that I hate you? I’m sorry I don’t love you the way you think you love me, but I don’t hate you, Potter. I don’t like the immature, idiotic stunts you and Black pull, and I’m still trying to deal with what happened with…” her voice caught when she thought of her best friend, lost to her forever. She drew a deep breath and viciously reined in her emotions. “But however else I feel, I know I don’t hate you. I’m just a bit floored at the moment, alright?”
“You and me both, Lily.”
“How much do you know about Wizard marriage ceremonies?”
“That depends. What are you asking me exactly?”
“Well, I don’t really know anything about them. Could someone have made us get married as a prank, or something?”
“Ah. You want to know if someone might have forced or tricked you into marrying me.”
She coloured. “Well…”
“Lily, there are spells involved that don’t work unless both the bride and groom are entering into the marriage of their own free will. The fact that we ARE married tells me that - at least last night - we both thought this was a good idea, for whatever reason. It’s the other reason that there’s no way to end a Wizarding marriage. If there are any reservations, on either side, the spells won’t work at all. Last night, you wanted to marry me, and I wanted to marry you. So what we have to do now is figure what we do from here.”
Lily wilted. She didn’t know what had made her want to marry James Potter, but she had and now she was stuck with him. “I suppose we should figure out how to get home, and talk to our friends. At least Dawn might have some ideas.”
James groaned. “Aargh! How are we supposed to explain all this to them? Padfoot is going to be laughing at me for the rest of my life! And Dawn might stop being angry with me in a hundred years or so. She’s going to be furious that she missed out on being in the wedding.”
“James, I’m betting it wasn’t much of a wedding. If we have to be married forever, we can have a real wedding when we’re out of school. I’m more worried about both your and my parents.”
He grinned at her. “You know, that’s the second time this morning that you called me James. Which makes it three, to date. I remember the other time. Do you?”
She nodded. “It was the day you tried to ask me if there was even a slight chance that I would ever love you. I told you not to ask, because I would have had to say no.”
The grin vanished, replaced by a serious look. “Is it still no? Can you honestly say you will never love me?”
“James, don’t push. Please? I don’t hate you. I can’t tell you what I’ll feel in the future. Just… give me time to get to know who you really are, alright?”
He nodded, sighing softly. “I can accept that. Don’t suppose I have much of a choice, do I?”
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry for telling the truth. Never apologize for the way you feel, Lily.” He offered her a small smile. “Come on, then. Let’s go find out how we’re going to get home. Is there anything in here that you need?”
The two of them searched the room quickly, making sure that they had any belongings they had brought along, and left the room together. The short walk through the old hotel took only a minute or two, and when they reached the front desk, the bored looking concierge greeted them.
“Ah, bonjour, Monsieur and Madame Potter. Are you checking out this morning?”
James and Lily exchanged a sober look over the greeting. Somehow, having a stranger say it just seemed to make the situation that much more real. James coughed. “Er, yes, we’re checking out now. Would you be so kind as to direct us to the nearest International Floo connection?”
“But of course. All our guests use the fireplace in the main lobby. Which Floo network are you travelling to?”
“We need to go to Hogsmeade, in Scotland.”
“Of course, sir. The charge for the one-way Floo usage is included in your bill. I presume you will be paying that now?”
James pulled his wallet from his pocket and nodded. “How much do we owe you?”
“With the room, Floo, and your room service charges for last night, the total comes to… 26 Galleons, 8 Sickles and 11 Knuts.” James raised his eyebrows at the price, but counted the coins out and pushed them across the counter to the man. The concierge scooped the money into a box and handed them each a tiny pouch. “English Standard International Floo Powder. The main lobby is through those doors to your left. Thank you for choosing the…”
The droned comments faded away as the newlywed teenagers made a beeline for the fireplace. By unspoken agreement, they went into the grate together and several seconds later, after a seeming eternity spinning through the Floo Network, stepped out into the Three Broomsticks. Before they stepped out of the fireplace, James cast quick “Notice me not” charms on their rings.
Madame Rosmerta exclaimed in surprise when the pair stepped out onto the hardwood floor. “Where have you two been? Your friends were frantic when you disappeared! Better get up to the school as quickly as your legs will carry you! They’ve had Aurors in here and your father is up at the castle RIGHT NOW, Mr. Potter. Go!” She shooed them out the door with waving hands.
James groaned inwardly as they hurried up the path to Hogwarts. He had no idea how he was going to explain everything to his father. Or anyone, really.
Dawn, Sirius, and Mr. Potter were all in the Headmaster’s office when Fawkes suddenly ruffled his feathers and gave a trilling chirrup. Professor Dumbledore looked at his avian friend, and walked to the window.
“Well, it appears that our missing students have reappeared. They are making their way up the walk to the main doors at this moment. Shall we meet them?”
Harold stood and began walking briskly toward the door without a word. Dawn and Sirius exchanged a look and hurried after him. Professor Dumbledore trailed behind, looking for all the world as if he were simply having an afternoon stroll through the school. The four of them met James and Lily just as the pair walked into the school. Remus and Peter stepped out of the Great Hall in a suspiciously timely fashion, proving that Remus had been watching for James to return with the Marauder‘s Map. He was giving his friend a bemused, curious look.
Harold strode up to face his son. “Where have you been, James? Your mother has been terrified that something horrible had happened.”
Lily went red, then white, then red again. James glanced at her and leaned toward his father. “Dad, I think we should talk about this somewhere less… public.”
Harold Potter gave his son an assessing stare, and nodded. He turned to Professor Dumbledore. “Back to your office? If you wouldn’t mind?”
The old wizard smiled benevolently. “Of course I don’t mind. Lead on, you know the way and the password.”
So all five of the Marauders found themselves headed for the Headmaster’s office - yet again - in the company of a parent, the Headmaster, and a seemingly perfect prefect.
Professor Dumbledore settled into the chair behind his cluttered desk and waited for his guests to settle themselves around the room. He was a bit surprised when James and Lily sat on one of the small couches together. Of course, Dawn snuggled into Sirius’ side on another of them, while Harold paced and Remus and Peter dropped into the squashy armchairs across from their friends.
“I believe you have something of import to say at this point, Mr. Potter, Miss Evans?”
Lily blanched when the Headmaster addressed her. James looked uneasily around the room, and slowly pulled a sheaf of parchments out of the pocket of his robes.
“Sir, we need some help. This morning, we both woke up with no memory past going to the Three Broomsticks yesterday. We also have another problem, which I think you might want to see for yourself.” He handed the Headmaster the parchment packet in his hand and waited for the fallout.
Albus Dumbledore prided himself on not being surprised by anything that this particular group of students could throw his way. Reading that two fifth years had been married in Paris the previous night, however, came as a shock to him. It was not unheard of, of course, but it was usually the older students, and he would have not believed it of the exceptionally responsible Lily Evans. Not to mention the fact that the girl seemed to despise James Potter with a passion. He cleared his throat and commented, “Well, it does seem you have a real problem, Mr. Potter. Perhaps you would like a bit of privacy to explain to your family?”
“No sir, that won’t be necessary, but could you possibly send for my mother? I would like Mum here for this.”
Dawn gave James and Lily a penetrating stare, and opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by Lily. “Don’t, Dawn. Just wait, okay? Professor, would you also get my parents here? We should get this all straightened out at once.”
“James, what happened? Where did you disappear to yesterday? What’s going on, son?”
“Dad, please. Wait until Mum and Lily’s parents get here, alright?”
Dawn spoke, distracting Harold. “Daddy, how could you break loose lost memories? If someone did something to them to take their memories, shouldn’t there be a way to get them back?”
“That would depend on what happened to cause them to lose their memories in the first place. We should have Madame Pomfrey examine them.”
“Excellent idea. Would you be so good as to go and get Poppy for me?” Harold Potter nodded and left the office. Albus waited until he was past the gargoyle before he addressed his students. “I assume you arranged that because you wanted to talk to one another without parental influence first?”
Dawn smiled at the old man. “Thank you, Professor. If you wouldn’t mind-?”
“Of course not, my dear. Should you need me, just call, I shall be in the next room.” The Professor disappeared through a door behind his desk.
For a long moment, the six students exchanged uncomfortable looks. Then Dawn cracked. “So, James, when were you planning to tell us, since you didn’t see fit to warn us that you and Lily were running off together?”
“Dawn, it wasn’t like that. The last thing I remember before waking up this morning was sitting in the Three Broomsticks with Moony and Wormtail. Then I was waking up in an unfamiliar room.”
Peter looked at James in confusion. “You don’t remember getting up to go talk to Lily when she and the other two came in? She embarrassed you again, and you left. Then she left. I think she said something to Candice and Michelle about meeting them back at the castle.”
Dawn eyed her brother. “I don’t think that’s the important issue here. What happened that you’re not telling us, James? Or should I ask Lily?”
“I’m right here, Dawn. If you want to know, I should ask you what James asked me this morning. Can you read French?” When Dawn nodded at her friend, a slight look of confusion on her face, Lily walked to the Professor’s desk and retrieved the parchments that James had handed over. “Read this then.”
Sirius gave James a significant look. “French? Should I even ask why you have a handful of documents in French, Prongs?”
“Got it figured out then, Padfoot?”
“I guess I do, since you’re not denying what you know I’m thinking. You’re-”
“YOU GOT MARRIED!?!?!” Dawn screeched, having gotten the gist of the top sheet of parchment. James and Lily winced at the volume.
“Thanks, Kitten. I wonder if they heard you in London?”
“Oh, I am so going to kill you, James Potter! How dare you do something this important and not tell us beforehand!”
Sirius clamped his arm around his girlfriend’s waist, firmly anchoring her to his side so that she couldn’t jump up and attack her brother. “Easy there, sweetheart. Don’t want to make the Tigerlily a widow less than a day after she got married now do you?”
James gave his best friend a grateful glance, and sighed. “Dawn, how would we have told you in advance? WE didn’t even know this was going to happen. We worked it all out from clues when we woke up this morning in a run-down hotel in Paris. Together. Those documents were on the night table, and we were wearing these.” He pointed out the rings. “We aren’t going to tell anyone other than you, the headmaster, and our parents, and you all have to swear not to tell anyone either. Marauder’s honour!” Lily looked on in bemusement as Remus, Peter, Sirius and Dawn all grabbed their left butt cheeks and gave their solemn promise on their ‘Marauder’s honour’ that they would tell no-one until James and Lily were ready to tell the rest of the world.
Then Dawn dropped the parchments on the small table beside her and Sirius’ loveseat, and jumped up to bounce across the sitting area and engulf Lily in a fierce hug. “Welcome to the family, Lily. It’s great to have a sister again!” The slim brunette was all smiles as she looked at her best female friend.
James pouted. “I suppose your big brother doesn’t count anymore then?”
Dawn cuffed him affectionately. “Of course you do, you big doofus. But now I have a sister AND a brother! What could be better?”
“We could follow their lead,” Sirius suggested from his lounging pose on the loveseat.
Dawn turned and stared at her boyfriend. “What?”
“I said we could follow their lead. You’ll be sixteen in a couple of months. What say I take you to Paris for your birthday?”
James chuckled as his sister blinked stupidly at her boyfriend. “Padfoot, mate, if that was your idea of a marriage proposal to my baby sister, it sucked. And I wouldn’t recommend the two of you running off to Paris unless you plan on taking the family with you, because Mum’s going to be put out enough over missing my wedding and I think she might just kill someone if she misses Dawn’s too.”
“You… um… you-”
“Just asked you to marry me, Kitten. Come over here so I can do it properly, would you?” Dawn drifted across to stand in front of him. Sirius slid off the couch to kneel before the girl he loved more than anything in the world. “Dawn Summers, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife when we have the chance to get married?”
Dawn gave him a wide, beaming smile as she replied. “Yes, Sirius Black, I will marry you as soon as I possibly can. I lost you once; you’re so not getting away from me again. I love you.”
They sealed their pledge with a kiss, while the other boys in the room made playful retching noises and Lily giggled at the exaggerated way the couple went about the whole thing.
James smiled at Lily and whispered in her ear, “Looks like we should be planning a family trip to Paris this summer. Dawn’s birthday is in the first week of August, so they’ll even have a chance to have a bit of a honeymoon before we start sixth year. And if you don‘t object, I think we should go somewhere for one together once the term ends. There‘s only a week left until summer holidays.”
Lily blushed at his mention of a honeymoon, and a tiny thrill shot through her body at the feel of his breath in her ear. “For now, we should be thinking about how we’re going to handle our parents’ reactions. They should be here any minute.”
“Our friends seem to have accepted this, and I daresay we’ve gotten used to the idea, haven’t we?” She nodded, hesitantly. “Well then, we just tell them and give them a bit of time, don’t we?”
“I’m scared, Potter. My parents are not going to handle this well.”
He gave her a boyishly lopsided smile, eyes alight with mischief. “Relax, Potter. We’ll get through this. We’re a resilient bunch.”
“I hope you’re right. I really hope so, James.” The pair of them shared a long speaking look before they turned toward the door. Now all they could do was wait. Their parents would be there soon, and from there, they would move into their future as Mr. and Mrs. James Potter. The gods help them.