TWENTYFOUR

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B I C Y C L E S
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The garage of Lily's home held a variety of trinkets. Old, and quite rusty, gasoline cans; bins of old books with damp feeling pages and fragile bindings, that were too abundant to fit on the already packed shelves of their home; and in the back corner of the room — two or three bicycles. Remus and Freya had snuck from the comfort of the Evans home, after they thanked Mrs. Evans for the tea, and coincidentally stumbled across the bikes.

She was in the midst of the explanation of why she had fled her parents' home, but eyed the newly found mode of transportation with a mysterious look on her face and a thirst for adventure.

Remus knew that expression all too well.

That was why, after half an hour of convincing and begging, he was not surprised to find himself perched on the seat of the rickety old bicycle, tshirt sticking against his skin as he sped faster and faster down the hill. Freya was to his right, slightly ahead but racing down just as fast despite the grass that so desperately wanted to cling to their tires. She wore a large grin, and it took all his power to maneuver the direction of the speeding bike so it did not collide with her.

The problem was, neither bicycle had breaks, which created quite the scene at the bottom of the hill. Remus shot from the seat, thankfully having slowed down slightly, and fallen onto a heap in the midst of bright green clovers — only a few feet away from where Freya painfully joined him on the ground.

She sat up almost instantly, looking over to him with a smile after noticing he was uninjured besides the small, purple bruises that would no doubt sprout against his skin amidst the dozens of scars, much like the flowers that bloomed beside them. Neither made any move to stand from the cool clovers, or walk back to the house to join their friends. The only change in their position that was made was from Freya as she crawled the small distance towards him, before joining his gaze to the blue sky.

"We're supposed to go back to the Potters by dinner, but they said both you and Lily were perfectly welcome as well," he paused, turning his gaze to her.

Freya nodded and stretched her arms slightly above her head before momentarily worrying about the green grass stains that would probably form against her light grey shirt.

"I'll convince Lily to join us, if James hasn't already."

They laid there in silence for a few more moments, the small distance between them broken by their connecting hands. Soon enough they would stand to pick up the bikes and trek back up the hill towards the house to join their friends, but for now they merely enjoyed each other's presence.

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When traveling even the shortest of distances with a large group, the size made it entirely more difficult than it should be. It had taken the four Marauders plus the two girls almost an hour to leave the home. Whenever they thought they were prepared to apparate, someone needed something or left something in the Evans' home.

Freya followed the tall figure of Sirius into the Potters' house, shifting the black bag she had borrowed from Lily which held enough clothes for two nights. She hadn't wanted to bring an entire suitcase for just the little time she would be there.

It surprised her that it only took a few minutes to convince the redhead to accompany her to the Potter house. It was also quite shocking, but relieving, that she was not angry at Remus for giving the boy her address so he could apologize.

The door was shut behind her a few seconds later by Peter, who was the last to walk in. Her eyes roamed the room in an attempt to survey the familiar surroundings. Only a few things had changed, such as the new coat of paint that covered the walls and gave the home a fresh look. The pictures on the elegant mantle that moved, unlike the one in Lily's home, sported new photos of James, smiling broadly in his Quidditch uniform. The large grandfather clock that was propped against the far wall had finally resumed documenting the precious seconds that passed. Last time she was there in the summer following fourth year, the clock had been broken during the process of James and Sirius's horseplay.

Lily awkwardly stood by Freya's side, having never expected to wind up in James's living room so suddenly. In all the years he had invited her, she had never once agreed.

Mrs. Potter soon bustled into the room with her wand in hand to greet them with welcoming arms. Her husband trailed after shortly with the same grin, though not as noticeable. She hugged both James and Sirius tightly as if they'd been gone weeks rather than a day.

When she pulled Freya in for a quick embrace, the familiar scent of roses floated through her senses with relaxation. She peered over the woman's shoulder to James, who had his head directed away from her towards Sirius, and fondly remembered the time she had asked him what home smelled like in their second year. He had simply responded with the name of the sweet smelling red flower that extended from Mrs. Potter.

Upon setting her eyes on Lily, the kind smile turned into one of amusement, "My you have grown up. One thing hasn't changed though, James is still quite fond of you. This is the Lily, right Sirius? I remember her to only be as tall as my shoulder!"

"That's her, mum," Sirius replied, "Not quite sure what he sees in her. She's awfully rude to me —"

"That's enough of you," Mr. Potter scorned, the joking tone that managed to seep in with the words made it clear that he was only teasing. He shooed Sirius away from the room with the Daily Prophet he held, the rest followed quick on his heels.

As they bounded up the stairs, Mrs. Potter called behind them, "The two girls can stay in the bedroom with the double bed."

James turned to Lily with a smirk, and adjusted his glasses that begun to slip down the bridge of his nose, "I'm sure Sirius wouldn't mind sleeping somewhere else if you'd like to —"

"Never in your dreams, Potter," she scowled, pausing only to punch him in the arm for good measure as she stomped directly by him. Although it was quite obvious she had no clue where she was going.

"C'mon," James pushed by Peter, almost sending the small boy tumbling down the stairs, "A date then?"

"The day pigs fly and the day you wear a bloody head boy badge will be the day I go on a date with you," she spoke determinedly.

The two continued this banter as he led her to their room. Freya chose to stay in the corner of the hall beside a small table that held up a ornate, ceramic container of some sort. She tugged Remus by the hand towards her.

He looked down at her, "Any unlikely requirements for me to complete before we go on our next date?"

Their hands wrapped together, and she was tempted to let a ridiculous reply slip from her tongue, but the memory of all the years Remus had secretly fancied her came to mind. The boy had gone through quite an extent of ridiculous requirements for her already, that she only shook her head and gave him a red lipped smile.

AUTHORS NOTE
I'm not happy with this chapter but I promised rxmione I would publish it days ago ffs

and wow thanks for 30K+ !!!! my goals for stain in november were to reach 50k & have it translated, and I'm almost tO 50K IM SCREAMINGD

qotd: are you hungry?
aotd: *snape voice* always

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