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In Emerald Eyes by Midnight Ink

Format: Novella
Chapters: 24
Word Count: 50,776
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/OC

First Published: 10/29/2007
Last Chapter: 01/27/2009
Last Updated: 01/27/2009

Summary:





PAUSED DUE TO FINALS COMING UP FAST

Leap into Lily’s world and see what life is like through Emerald Eyes. 
Delve into her thoughts which.... rather worryingly... all  seem to be centred around James Potter.

A light-hearted romance with comedy straight from the mind of Lily Evans herself.

I'm astounded over 20,000 reads Thanks to all who have recommended and reviewed this.


Chapter 14: Muddled Minds

Lily stood in the middle of the deserted common room, shoulders slumped and feeling dejected. The portrait swung closed marking the flight of Remus Lupin from the room and the creaking hinges masked the footsteps of the boy coming down from the seventh year dorms.

“Lily?” came a voice from behind her, “Are you alright?”

“No, not really,” was her watery response as she turned to face James; tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong?” he asked with concern as he walked towards her.

“I can’t do up the buttons on my shirt. I can’t put on my own tie because of this stupid cast on my arm.” She held up the plaster cast that encased her arm from elbow to wrist. “I can’t ask Tia to do it because I told her that I didn’t need her help and could do it myself and she’s gone to see McGonagall now anyway. I asked Remus but he just went bright red and literally ran away from me. And now… now I’m crying in front of you of all people because I can’t dress myself, because these painkillers are making me emotional and drowsy and I just want to crawl back into bed and go to sleep!” Lily sobbed the last part of her ramblings while furiously trying to rub away the hot salty tears dripping down her cheeks.

“Come here,” James said simply after listening to her tirade with a soft, sympathetic look on his face. Lily took a step towards him and he gently wiped her tears from her cheeks with a sleeve of his jumper. He took hold of the flaps of Lily’s shirt and smiled at her encouragingly before buttoning it from top to bottom, keeping his eyes on the task and occasionally glancing at her wet face. Lily’s shoulders were still shaking as he took the red and gold striped tie from her unhindered left hand. He turned up her collar and tied a windsor knot around her neck, pushing it up to just below her open top button. He put her blouse collar back in place then took the other piece of material she was holding in her fist. He placed her potted arm in the cream coloured sling then lifted the loop over her head so her cast was held up across her chest.

When he was finished he opened his arms to her and Lily closed the gap between them. She laid her head and free hand on his chest, her face to one side, her fingers fiddling with his jumper. James placed one hand between her shoulder blades and the other lightly cradled the back of her head.  After the tremors quaking her slender form died down James tilted his upper body back a little so that he could see her face.  “Alright?” he asked her in a rich, smooth voice, searching her face with a reassuring smile.

Lily nodded and drew a last shaky breath before giving him a quavering, “Yeah,” and a tremulous smile.

“Good,” James said, leaning closer he pressed a prolonged kiss to the top of her head and then looked her in her slightly puffy eyes. “Go get your bag and we’ll go to breakfast, shall we?” Lily nodded again and a minute later, she was back with her school satchel. James took it from her and shouldered it before picking up his own from at his feet and slinging that across his body too. “Let’s go.” Lily smiled at him and they left for the Great Hall, James helping her through the portrait hole on the way.

~*~*~*~*~*~

“Morning,” their friends greeted them from the other side of the long table. Remus, looking embarrassed and a little guilty, pushed a cup of coffee towards Lily in an obvious peacemaking gesture.

“Thanks,” she said with a smile after she had stirred in a spoonful of sugar and taken a sip.

“What’re you having to eat Lily?” James asked as he poured himself a goblet of pumpkin juice.

“Toast I reckon; easy to eat with one hand.”

The others laughed and James grabbed a slice from the stack.

“Lemon curd?”

“Please. But no…”

“No butter. Yes I know,” he interrupted with a long-suffering sigh and a roll of the eyes as he spread the sticky concoction onto the bread.

Lily was still surprised by just how much James did know. Kinda of creepy if you think about it, kinda stalkerish. Kinda romantic…yeah, or kinda cree… “Thanks James,” she said reaching to pick up the breakfast that had just hit her plate and take a bite. “Mmm, delicious.” James looked up from buttering his own toast and gave her a sweet smile. Are we talking about the toast or the boy? Lily mentally shrugged at her question, both. “I miss marmite,” Lily said staring moodily at her almost empty plate and dipping her finger in the yellow stuff coating the toast and examining it carefully before sucking it off thoughtfully. The boys gave her confused looks at her seemingly random and nonsensical statement but Tia who had stayed in Lily’s muggle home numerous times over the years simply rolled her eyes.

“She’s obsessed with marmite!”

“What’s mar-mite?” James asked breaking the word into two long syllables as if testing how they felt as they rolled off his tongue.

“It sounds like a pet’s name, you got a cat we don’t know about Lils?” Sirius asked.

Lily laughed, “No! It’s a type of sandwich spread. I do have two hamsters called Branston and Pickle though.”

“Brandon and what now?” James asked looking even more confused.

“Branston and Pickle, it’s another muggle thing. Anyway I have marmite on toast practically everyday for breakfast at home, I miss it.”

“What does it taste like?” Peter inquired, for once interested in the topic of conversation, any mention of food and he was suddenly enthralled and eager to converse.

“I don’t know.”

“You eat it every day and you don’t know what it tastes like?” Sirius asked incredulously.

“Well it’s hard to explain, it doesn’t really taste like anything.”

“It’s disgusting!” Tia told the boys wrinkling her nose at the thought. “I don’t know why she likes the stuff; she’s practically addicted to it.”

“It is not disgusting! And I am not addicted; it’s a perfectly healthy obsession thank you very much. They do say you either love it or you hate it though.”

“I’m definitely coming down on the hate side of things,” Tia said.

“You don’t know what you’re missing James – don’t listen to her.” Tia stuck her tongue out at Lily who returned the gesture. “You’ll have to come round in the holidays, you can try it then.”

“Sure.”

Wait did I just invite a wizard to my house? A James shaped wizard? Oh, Petunia is going to throw a fit! I wonder what Dad will say…

“Did you hear that James, she just as good as asked you to meet the parents. Careful mate I hear her dad is a veritable rottweiler when it comes to Lily and boys,” Sirius teased.

“I did no such thing,” Lily admonished, blushing at the implication of Sirius’s sentence. “Besides, my parents would love James.”

“Yeah, it’s the sister you’ve really got to watch out for,” Tia added, distaste colouring her voice. Lily’s brow instantly furrowed, her expression darkened with memories.

“What about the sister?” Sirius asked intrigued.

“You’ll see,” Lily told him. James rubbed his hand in calming circles on her back as he took a bite of jam covered toast. Lily smiled and her expression brightened. “So… who’s the invalid’s dedicated slave for today?” she grinned as the boys across from her all looked terrified and ran off throwing excuses over their shoulders. Tia shook her head and gathered her stuff before following them out of the door to lessons.

James held his wrists out to Lily with a soppy grin on his face, “Bring on the shackles baby.” Lily laughed and smacked him on the shoulder with her good hand.

~*~*~*~*~*~

“Oh Professor Slughorn, I’m so sorry but there’s no way I can make this potion without the use of my wand hand.”

“Don’t worry child, there isn’t a potion out there that you couldn’t make if you put your mind to it. Here.” Lily watched as Horace simply marked an “O” next to her name in the records alongside this year’s set of perfect scores. “Crystallised pineapple Lily?” He asked her offering the open box. Lily smiled sweetly at him and placed a small piece of the fruit into her mouth. “You just go back to your seat and relax, concentrate on getting yourself better.”

“Thank you Professor.”

“My pleasure Lily, my pleasure.”

Lily smothered a laugh as she turned to see James circling his little finger with his index finger at her while Sirius pressed his thumb to his palm. Wrapped around my finger? Check. Under the thumb? Check.

“I can’t believe it, you are so jammy,” Tia whispered as Lily took her seat next to her. Lily just shrugged and hid a James-like smug smirk. “You’re still gonna help me though, right?”

“Of course, I trust by now you can light the fire under your cauldron all by yourself though?”

Tia grinned at her friend, “Just about.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

“Ok class, today we will be working on transforming living objects,” McGonagall indicated the rabbit in front of her, “into other living objects. In particular, animals into different animals, observe.” With a flick of her wand, a dove flew up from her desk where the rodent had been seconds before. “The instructions are on the board, begin.” The Professor strolled over to where Lily was sat. “Miss Evans why don’t you just take notes today.” Lily indicated her sling and reminded the woman that it was the hand she used to write and to perform magic. “Of course, silly me. Well just observe then. I recommend you watch James; he seems to have the knack of it already. Well done James.” She raised her voice so that her praise would carry across the noisy room.

“Thanks Minnie,” he called back with a grin. Minerva pursed her lips but Lily was sure it was just to hide the smile threatening to spread there. Lily knew that she was actually very fond of her protégé and found most of his stunts quite amusing.

“McGonagall says I’ve got to watch you,” Lily told James when she reached where he was stood with Sirius, Remus and Peter. She made herself sound as unenthusiastic as she could but inside she was thrilled at been given the excuse to simply sit and drink him in without the worry of being caught staring.

“Alright, what do you want to see?”

That was a bad thing to ask James, you might as well have told my imagination to run away with itself – or rather you. Now what do I want to see…what do I want to see? I wouldn’t mind seeing those bite marks again, or maybe a chance to see if you have them anywhere other than your chest…Bad Lily! She scolded herself before her thoughts could get completely out of control. “Don’t know; show me what you’ve got,” she challenged. Now there’s a double entendre if ever I heard one. Lily mentally slapped herself, What is with you today?A second after the words had left her mouth there was a giant bright blue butterfly sitting on Lily’s head, she gasped in surprise, it landed for an instant before fluttering off and turning into a snow-white rabbit. The rabbit took a few hops towards her feet before becoming a stalking cat with gorgeous leopard markings in dark brown and grey. The cat became a tortoise, then a lovebird that chirruped sweetly. When Sirius’s cat went to snap at it the bird became a chocolate Labrador that growled before turning and licking Lily’s face.

“Eww gross! James I want the butterfly back.” Lily laughed as she ruffled the dog’s fur, petting it and pushing it away at the same time.

“Your wish is my command,” he said with a gallant bow and a moment later the turquoise butterfly was back and resting on Lily’s outstretched finger. Its wings slowly folded and unfolded in the beam of sunlight that fell in through one of the high windows.

“You’re a show off you know that right?” Lily said with a soft smile, looking up from the creature balanced on her hand.

“I think you might have mentioned that at some point, yes,” James joked and Lily blushed and returned her gaze to the insect.

I sure have a lot of making up to do. You know I think it would be easier to cast a memory charm on him. But that would be bad. Would it? Aren’t you meant to be my conscience?

“About that…” Lily began but James interrupted her. He put the butterfly back into the cage on his desk and returned it to the crow it had originally been.

“If you’re about to say sorry for every nasty thing you’ve ever said to me I don’t want to hear it.”

“You’re not going to let me apologise?”

“No.”

“So…you’re not going to forgive me?” Lily asked in a small voice that didn’t sound like it belonged to her.

“No,” he stated bluntly.

Ouch. Maybe I was wrong…” “Look Lily, I’m not going too pretend that what you’ve said in the past was pleasant but nor am I going to allow you to take it back. You meant it at the time and to be honest it was exactly what I needed to hear. I needed knocking down a peg or two and who else was going to tell me what an egotistical, self-centred, bullying jerk I was being?” Lily winced at her own words. “Sirius is wrong Lily.” This confused her and her brow wrinkled and her mouth opened to ask for further explanation. “I didn’t change for you, I changed for me – you, I changed because of you. You showed me my faults and I worked hard to try and fix them.”

Lily was more than a little surprised at his candidness, his painfully apparent honesty. “Well if it helps I think you did a pretty good job,” she said with a small smile playing at the corner of her mouth.

“Pretty good?” James joked.

He always was mercurial – one minute completely serious the next laughing and joking. “Nobody’s perfect James,” she said grinning at him. The heavy feeling that had settled in her chest when the conversation had started had lifted.

“I don’t know Lily, you come pretty darn close to perfection in my eyes.”

“You’re just biased,” Lily said, a pretty blush tingeing her cheeks as she looked up at him from beneath long dark lashes.

“Yeah I reckon I am.” James said softly and he stepped closer and stroked his fingertips across her cheekbone, tracing the flushed skin and heating it further while he stared at her lips. Lily saw him swallow as his left hand settled under her jaw, the pads of his fingers on the nape of her neck his thumb grazing her jaw. Lily wet her lips unconsciously and James whimpered almost inaudibly.

“Please James…” Lily mumbled, she wasn’t sure how she would have continued, perhaps with something along the lines of ‘we’re in the middle of a classroom’ but it could just as easily have been ‘please James, don’t stop!’ But his eyes flickered to hers as she spoke and he let go off her and threw himself into his seat. He flicked his wand at the crow, which then fell from the perch to the bottom of the cage as a toad.

“A toad Potter? That’s not very imaginative; I expected an eagle at least,” McGonagall commented as she was passing. James opened the cage, grabbed the toad in his right hand and stood throwing it into the air, as it began to fall it turned into a magnificent golden eagle that took flight. The beautiful bird of pray glided over the astounded class, it soared in a tight circle around the classroom and as it swooped to gather someone’s rat in it’s outstretched talons it changed again and dropped to the floor as a harmless mouse. “Bravo, ten points to Gryffindor. I must say I’m glad you don’t want to become a teacher Potter I might have to start watching my job.” The professor smiled at her student and then crossed the classroom to help a struggling Hufflepuff.

“That was awesome Prongs!” Sirius shouted clapping him on the back. “You have to teach me that one. Did you see that Lily?!”

“Hmm?” Lily looked up at the excited boy, moving for the first time since James had touched her. She slid from the desktop she had been sitting on, “Yeah, it was brilliant. I’m going to talk to Tia,” and she wandered off in somewhat of a daze.

“What’s up with her?” Sirius asked, James shrugged and luckily Black didn’t make any more enquiries. “So you’ll teach me the eagle?”

“Sure mate, it goes like this.”

~*~*~*~*~*~


“Lily what’s up?” Tia asked her friend. “Is your arm playing you up?”

“What, oh no it’s fine. I think James almost kissed me.”

“WHAT?!” Tia shouted. But when Professor McGonagall sent her a withering glance, she pulled her face into a look close to contrite and changed her retriever puppy into a cat that unfortunately still had a dog’s tail. Tia winced as McGonagall took a step towards her just as Remus subtly flicked his wand from across the room and made it look like Tia had fixed it herself. “Thanks,” she mouthed to him as soon as McGonagall stopped watching her. He grinned and nodded at her.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that he was going to kiss me.”

Tia looked around to check for eavesdroppers, all of the Marauders now had eagles circling their heads apart from Peter who had a strange half-bird half-tortoise flapping around at his feet. The rest were in absolute hysterics. “How do you know?” Tia whispered.

“Well I don’t, do I? Because he didn’t actually do it, but he had his hand on my face and he was staring at my mouth and he was just about to lean in, I know he was!” Lily ran her hand through her hair and collapsed into a chair.

“So what stopped him then?” Tia asked pulling another seat up and leaning into Lily.

“I don’t know; I think it was me though.”

“What do you mean, you think it was you?”

“Well I said his name and then he was gone.”

“How did you say his name? Was it like a ‘mmm…James’ or was it like a ‘eww…James’?”

“I don’t know, I wasn’t really capable of coherent thought at the time, all I could think was ‘James is gonna kiss me, James. Is. Going. To. Kiss. Me.’ But I really don’t think it could have been a ‘eww’. I don’t have ‘eww James’ thoughts.”

“I’m not surprised, I mean look at him, he is fine!” Tia scrunched her nose as she said the last word, twisting her mouth into a predatorial grin and nodding in approval.

“Tia, focus! What stopped him?” Lily groaned the question more to herself than to her friend.

“I don’t know, but I think it’s safe to say you didn’t want him to.”

Lily blushed and nodded, there really was no point denying it. “He told me he thought I was perfect,” Lily admitted with a small smile playing at her lips, Tia sighed. “What if he doesn’t like me anymore Tia; what if that’s why he stopped?”

“You do know those two sentences make absolutely no sense in the same paragraph, right? Honestly Lily he’s head over heels for you, anyone can see that – everyone does see that.”

“Then why?” Lily asked. Her confusion was agonising and completely frustrating.

“Who knows? He’s a boy, the workings of his mind and that of the rest of his bizarre species are a complete mystery to me. You could always just ask him…”

“No way!” Lily exclaimed, she was mortified by the very idea of that conversation. “Maybe I got it wrong, maybe he wasn’t going to kiss me.” Lily sighed.

“Yeah right, I think we can rely on your intuition Lily. Do you want me to ask him for you?”

“Don’t you dare!”

Tia grinned evilly before waving her wand at the cat that was busy preening itself on the desk in front of them and changing it into a lynx, which charged at the boys making them jump and shout as it leapt for their birds.

“Alright that’s enough class!” McGonagall shouted over the ruckus. “Return your animals to their original forms and you may leave. What is it about seventh year Gryffindors and making the most trouble they possibly can?” she muttered to herself.

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