Chapter 1 : just because.
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Her bangs were choppy. Asymmetrical. Cut as if by a child rather than a seventeen year old girl. Just like the rest of her hair. Long. Tangled. Knotted. Never been touched by a comb. Not even once. Simple and yet not elegant. Organized chaos but in fact not organized at all. But it somehow worked. Just because.
Her face was littered with freckles. And come to think of it, so were her arms. And her shoulders. And her hands. And her legs. And everywhere the light hit and the sun kissed until that goddamn pasty skin was burnt to a crisp. Beet red. Blood red. Crimson red. Your pick. Whatever you decided to call it, it still clashed with her hair. Every time.
And her bottom lip was still plumper than her top.
And she had a chip on her tooth. Her front tooth. The one on the left. A break. A crack. A fracture. But a small one. Hardly noticeable. Hardly there. A chip you only saw if you looked close enough. But it was there. And it was ugly. But it somehow gave her character.
And her eyes. Green. Green and framed by ginger eyebrows. Green and red. Like Christmas. And those eyes of emerald squinted when she smiled. When she revealed that chipped tooth for the world to see. She’ll have smile lines when she’s old and gray. When the red is gone and all that’s left is the green.
Those eyes. They were hard to look at. Bold. Intense. Piercing. They were just too green. It had to be impossible for something to be so green.
And her clothing was about as tidy and neat as her hair. She couldn’t take care of anything. Every plant she touched in Professor Spout’s greenhouses died. And she gritted her teeth together – chipped and not – cried out in frustration, and tugged on that rat’s nest that she called hair for all it was worth. Because she was a prefect. She was supposed to ace all of her classes. She was supposed to be perfect.
But it seemed that she had an Achilles’ heel. She didn’t have a nurturing bone in her body. She didn’t know how to do anything that didn’t involve a waving of her wand or a stirring of her cauldron. Because Charms and Potions and Transfiguration made sense. And therefore were the only classes of worth.
She didn’t like anything that she couldn’t master within a few minutes.
They were all below her. Flying. Dancing. Divination. Hippogriffs. Make-up. Astronomy. All of them. Every single one. And the list went on. And on. And on.
She skipped classes. Sometimes. Mental health days, she called them. She would lie in bed all day. She would silently scream. And throw things. And then put everything back in place with a wave of her wand. Sulk. Scream. Throw. Reparo. Repeat. Friends and men would come and go but good ol’ Charms could always be counted on. Always there. Always around.
But you never paid attention to how she looked like Christmas year-round or how at times she was loud and obnoxious or that blasted stocking that refused to stay up or her flat chest and wide hips or her scrawny everything. Lily Evans was flawed in just about every way and James Potter was blind to every single one of them.
Because he loved her.
They lay in the grass together every Thursday night. No absences. No excuses. Never spoken but a silent agreement between the two. They talked. And he tickled her. A lot. Just to see her squirm. To see her squint her eyes as she laughed and smiled. He wanted to be there to greet those smile lines sixty years from now, to be able to foggily remember her fiery locks when they were replaced by snow.
And he tickled her to make her beg for mercy. To be her savior when his hands finally stopped their rhythmic attack. But she fought back and the two fought hard. Elbows were scraped. White shirts stained green by the bed of grass underneath them and they called them battle scars. And then their palms touched and hearts murmured and the breeze held its breath and soon lips met in a sweet kiss.
Dazed. Lightheaded. Breathless.
“How much do you love me?”
“How many freckles do you have?”
“Well then, there you go.”
She stared at him. Amazed. Enthralled. So in love. With fireworks and sporadic heartbeats. And lots and lots of butterflies. He smirked at her. And he rolled up the sleeve of her sweater. Skimmed her abnormally long fingers with his hazel warmth until he found it. And there it was. A lone freckle. One. Another. Two. And another. Three. And another. Four. Five. Six. And he counted. And counted. And counted.
After a few minutes he lost count. And after some thought he determined that there must be at least a hundred million. He’d love her for a hundred million years.
Yes, her hair was a mess. But he didn’t mind. His was no better. Just as messy. Just as much of a wreck. She didn’t know how to cope with her life. With her failures. With the hate from her prejudice classmates and from her sister. But neither did he. He felt just as lost. She screamed and threw things to get back at the world. He just laughed too much. Loudly. Obnoxiously. You name it. He laughed to seize the day. To live. To make fun. To forget, if only for a moment, that his mum was sick and his dad always locked in his office.
They were a pair of broken people and she was anything but perfect but so was he and he’d love her for a hundred million years. Because she had a hundred million freckles.
So here’s to a hundred million years. And the rest of eternity.
A/N: So I know I should be updating my other stories but this came to me the other day and simply couldn't be ignored. Special thanks to Ramita (deceptive_serenade) for reading it over and convincing me to make it longer than its original 600 words.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you thought of it in a review :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Unfortunately. JK does - but that's not unfortunate. Like, at all. But if I did own it, I would be Mrs. Potter. As in wife to James. James the first, that is. But I'd totally be okay with being married to James the second. Or to Al. Or Harry. I just want in with that family, really.