The Piano Phantom
Lily was in complete shock as Mr and Mrs Potter led them into the house. She could see that James had tears in his eyes. She remembered hearing about that party. The party where all the guests had ended up fighting Voldemort. She remembered getting angry at the idea that Potter had sent his servants into a fight. Alice and Marlene had tried to explain that Potter hadn't forced them but she hadn't understood. In fact she'd completely misunderstood. She could feel her own tears brimming her eyes. Mrs Potter put an arm around her son as he wiped his tears away. "So who wants a tour?"
Lily, Mary and Kate all nodded eagerly.
"Milly would you mind taking everyone's' luggage to their rooms?" Charlus asked the house-elf.
"Of course Master Potter," Milly bowed.
"Right well… this is the entrance hall. Living room is that way. Dining room is just through there. Kitchen… The House-elves quarters… The den… Charlus' study… The library… the music room..." Dorea led them through each room before leading them up the stairs. "Family quarters are down that way. If you need Charlus or me, our room is at the end of the corridor. Sirius – you know where your room is of course?"
Sirius nodded. "Guest rooms are this way…" Dorea led them down a corridor on the other side of the house. "These rooms are quite ingenious… they design themselves specifically to the tastes of their guests. Alice – can you show them what I mean? This is yours… just open the door…" Dorea encouraged.
Alice placed her hand on the door knob and felt a warm magical feeling in her finger tips. She opened the door and found the most beautiful bedroom she had ever seen. There was a large four poster bed in the centre of the room with blue curtains, bedding and cushions. The fire was already lit and there was a comfortable looking armchair in the corner near the window. Alice made her way over to the window – it overlooked the pool, her favourite part of the Potter gardens. She turned around and saw a massive wardrobe. "I don't think I have enough clothes with me to fill that," Alice laughed.
"Don't worry dear. I took the liberty of asking Missy to order new dressrobes for each of you. I believe there are several pairs and perhaps a ball gown or two."
"Are you for real, Aunty Dori?" Alice opened the wardrobe and spotted the dresses, "Wow."
Doria led the guests to the next door just across the hall, "Marlene – this is yours…"
Marlene touched the doorknob and felt the same magical feeling that Alice had. She pushed the door open to find the most beautiful dark wood bed. It was huge and if Mrs Potter hadn't been with them Marlene would have started jumping on it like a small child. Being a pure-blood she was used to extravagant living but the Potters took it to a whole other level. "Blooming heck," Marlene looked around the room in shock. The room was decorated in the Gryffindor colours of red and gold. The fire was slightly smaller than Alice's but it still warmed the room perfectly. There was a small table set between two armchairs and a pile of all her favourite wizarding games on the table. She just knew her and Sirius would play each of those games at least five times before returning to Hogwarts. The view from the window was superb. She could see a large forest with beautiful trees. She could just imagine all the creatures hiding within. Dorea noticed her gaze, "the Forest of Dean."
Marlene nodded knowingly. Her grandmother lived not far away. Marlene's wardrobe was just as spectacular as Alice's. "Thank you so much Mrs Potter," Marlene smiled.
"Oh… it's nothing," Dorea grinned.
Frank's was the next room. His room was the same colour as Alice's. He had a balcony that overlooked the pool. Then it was Peter's room. His room was simple. He had a lovely chocolate coloured bedspread and a box of chocolate frogs was waiting at his bedside. Mary's room was a bright yellow colour with the most beautiful view of a distant hill. They continued down the corridor until they reached the next bedroom. Kate's room was a pretty teal colour. She sighed when she realised that it overlooked the pool. It was so relaxing. There were only two rooms left until the corridor ended. Remus' room was decorated with Gryffindor colours and there was a beautiful ornate bookshelf. Finally they came to the last room. Lily put her hand to the doorknob and felt the magic that all her friends had felt. She pushed it open gently and found herself in the most beautiful room she had ever seen. The room had a light wooden floor, and a large old fashioned bed. She smiled longingly at it. The curtains around the bed were made of white lace and fell to the floor. They moved slightly in the breeze. The balcony door was slightly ajar. There had been portraits in each room but this room only had one picture. The picture was of a beautiful meadow. In the centre of the meadow were a handsome stag and his doe. The fire was lit, warming the room gently. There was a large bookshelf covering one wall and a lovely armchair for her to fall asleep reading in. She stepped out onto her balcony and saw that it overlooked the most beautiful rose garden. There was a stream running through the garden and Lily could hear the gentle sound of the water trickling through the garden. Lily sighed; it was as close to heaven as she had ever found. "Thank you," she whispered.
"I'm glad you like it. Right I'm going to go check on dinner. I'll leave you all to sort yourselves out," Dorea smiled. Each of the friends returned to their own room to prepare for dinner. James waited behind.
"This room is special," he told Lily.
"Yeah I can tell," she replied.
"Behind that picture is a secret passageway. It will take you near enough anywhere you want to go in the house."
"Anywhere?" Lily's mind was full of ideas.
"Almost… You can't get into Father's study or my parents' room… and the portrait has to ask for permission if you want to go to a family member's bedroom but other than that…"
"How?" Lily asked.
"Just call the doe to you and then stroke her nose," James explained. "Right – I'm going to go get ready for dinner."
"Yeah – see you down there," Lily replied, distracted by the portrait.
James practically ran to his own room. It had white walls but all the accessories were a dark green colour. It had been his favourite colour for a while now – ever since he first started Hogwarts. His room had changed to match his new tastes when he had returned home for Christmas in first year. James quickly changed before returning downstairs. His mother was in the kitchen. His father had already locked himself up in his office, doing paperwork and everyone else was still upstairs so he decided to go to the music room. He sat down at the grand piano and smiled. He hadn't played in an age. His mother had insisted that he learn to play. He had also been taught ballroom dancing much to his disdain. He began to allow his fingers to run smoothly across the beautiful instrument creating the most incandescent melody imaginable. Gradually the sound drifted upstairs and Lily began to hum along with the tune. She pulled on a pretty skirt, top and cardigan before descending the stairs hoping to find out who was playing the piano. However, the tune stopped before she reached the bottom of the stairs and she found the room empty when she peaked in.