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Desperate Situations by aurora_sakura

Format: Novella
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 18,267
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, James, Lily
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 06/01/2006
Last Chapter: 07/29/2006
Last Updated: 07/29/2006

Summary:
Due to certain circumstances, Lily Evans has no other choice but to spend a week of summer with two people she would rather not... But what could change in a week? I NEED A BANNER! please...


Chapter 1: The Situation
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Chapter 1

Day 1- Saturday

Lily Evans was not happy about the situation presented to her at present. Not happy at all...

Waving feebly to her mother as she pulled away from the front lawn in their station wagon, and silently cursing herself for coming into this situation out of pure desperation, she turned resolutely to the wood door in front of her, took a deep breath, and rapped her knuckled against it.

Desperate she certainly was.

Her older sister Petunia had invited her family to meet her boyfriend's; a large obnoxious man by the name of Vernon, for a little over a week. Well, as it happens, like Petunia, Vernon wasn't very fond of anything out of the ordinary, and that classified Lily; going into her 7th year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as anything but ordinary. She refused to go, much to her sisters delight.

She had phoned everyone she knew. Her year mates and even some muggle girls that lived nearby. But sadly, this year seemed perfect for summer vacations. The weather was perfect... much to her sudden annoyance. She was forced; faced with no other alternatives, to phone the person she was least willing to spend the summer holidays with. (Besides certain Slytherins and the like... but she was talking about "friendly" acquaintances... friendly being used rather lightly here).

Her and James Potter were never on, what you would call, "friendly terms."

She had to admit, the teasing and constant annoyances had lessened this last year. But he still found ways of getting to her. Whether it be the fact that Sirius Black, his best friend and near brother, was always around to make matters worse, OR the fact that James never found it old to constantly ask her out on dates every chance he got. (All to which she declined.)

She hastily turned her attention away from the beautiful garden in the front yard, all thoughts of her annoyance falling away to be replaced with a forced smile as the door opened finally...

And a rather bedraggled Sirius Black stuck his head out.

She glared at him, watching as his look of surprise turned to a wide smirk. She instantly felt the need to take her school trunk, turn, and walk back if she had to, to her home across England.

"Evans!" He stepped back, allowing the door to open more. The delicious sent of something baking caught her attention and she felt her mouth water. She was actually really hungry...

He motioned for her to enter the house, and she did, grudgingly.

"I forgot you lived here." She told him dryly, taking in his appearance now. It was obvious he had just got out of bed. He was dressed, but his blue eyes were squinting against the light filtering from outside and his usually kept black hair was sticking up in odd places.

"Nice of you, really." He muttered, clearly too asleep still for a clever retort. She resisted the urge to inform him it was already 1 o'clock.

"Sirius, could you haul that upstairs for Miss. Evans." A petite, hazel haired women emerged from a room off to the right, and from the yummy smells wafting from it, she supposed it was the kitchen. She smiled sweetly at Lily, then extended her hand in greeting, her brown eyes dancing happily. "It's nice to meet you Lily, I'm James mom."

"Nice to meet you too Mrs. Potter." Lily took the older pretty women's hand, smiling sweetly in turn.

She turned from Lily a moment, giving Sirius an inquiring look before motioning for him to scurry upstairs with his job set to him.

Taking his wand from his pocket, he flicked it lazily, causing her trunk to float upwards before he turned and directed it up the stairs in front of them.

Mrs. Potter watched him at it for a moment before, grinning and turning back to her. Lily was suddenly reminded of James by the way her eyes danced. James' often did the same. "A late riser he is over summer. James is already awake though. Went with his father to run some errands." She added as Lily unconsciously let her eyes fall around the room as if expecting to see him.

"You must be hungry." She motioned her into a room on the left. "I'll make you something to eat right away. Any special requests?"

Lily shook her head with a smile, looking around the room she had been steered into. "Anything is fine, thank you."

"James told me you like books." She motioned over towards a wall on the far side of the room. Lily's mouth dropped open at the site of it.

Crammed into this cosy little room were bookshelves reaching the ceiling, all filled to the brim with old and new books. Some seemed so old that the bindings were ripping away from the side.

She stepped forward in awe, wanting to look through them all immediately.

"You have a look well I get on your lunch. And if you need anything, Sirius is upstairs." She passed a quick look up at the ceiling, an exasperated look on her face. "He probably fell back asleep." She met Lily's gaze again. "If he is, I'm sure you know some creative ways of waking him up." With a small wink, she turned and went back towards the kitchen.

Oh yes... Lily realized she was going to get along just fine in this house...

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James Potter Apparated into his backyard with the familiar loud CRACK noise that accompanied all such trips. Hoisting the back of potatoes higher on his shoulder and making sure the paper bag in his arms was cradled securely, he walked up the porch and opened the back door. The house was quiet except for the banging of pots and pans issuing from the kitchen where his mother was no doubt ably baking. She had decided to bake something special that day for Lily's arrival. And since she had taken the day off from the ministry, she was free to do just that.

He wondered briefly if the red headed girl was there yet as he walked down the hall and turned into the kitchen.

His mother had her back to him as he entered, but spoke from the stove, leaning over the pots which were stirring themselves. "Just put them on the counter please, James."

Obliging, he dropped the sack of potatoes onto the island counter in the centre of the room and the paper bag of groceries.

"Where's your father?"

"Told me to go ahead of him. He'll be here soon."

He inhaled the delicious smell of chocolate chip cookies which he saw were cooling on the counter and as he inched closer to them behind his mother's back.

But as if reading his mind, she picked up her wand from the counter and gave it a small flick without even turning to face him. His hand came in contact with a hard invisible wall covering the cookies.

Sighing, he turned to his mother with a smirk. "Your just too clever for me."

"Ah-huh..." Was her simple reply as she just picked up the cook book again and was adding new ingredients to the pot.

James was turning to leave the room when she spoke again. "Miss Evans is in the living study."

James froze. He felt his heart speed up just the way it had done when he received her pleading letter a few weeks ago. And with a sudden feeling of dread turned and asked his mother, "And where is Sirius?"

"Upstairs... sleeping."

James couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief as he pushed the kitchen door open and stepped out into the hallway. He did not want Sirius agitating Lily even more then she undoubtedly was for having to stay at his house. He however, was feeling the complete opposite about the arrangement. He couldn't be more happy!

Lily Evans, the girl that had been invading him for nearly 7 years of their life had no other choice but to be around him for the next week. He grinned at the thought. And then, even after this week, they would be returning to Hogwarts where he could spend even more time with her.

His grin was replaced with a look of determination when he took a step closer to the study. He would be spending time with her, that is, if he could convince her this week that he was worth the attention. That he, James Potter, was worth even a bit of conversation. He was fully determined to make sure this week went perfect. By the end of it, if all did, they would be friends maybe... maybe even more then friends.

But he would not give his hopes up. Lily Evans was the most stubborn girl he had ever met.

But as he reached the study door and peered in at her, he was momentarily dumbfounded and all thoughts of his plan drifted from his head.

Lily Evans was here... in his house... looking at his books.

Well, his father's books anyway.

He watched as she traced her fingers delicately along the spine of an old book, reading along the row for something to catch her attention. Her dark red hair was loose, falling down her back, shining slightly in the light that played through the windows, wavering as the trees over the house blocked it out momentarily.

Her white sundress brushed the shelves as she passed, their embroidered red flowers bringing out her hair even more, and he held his breath as she pulled a book down from the shelf, peering down at it with her brilliant green eyes well tucking a strand of hair absentmindedly behind her ear. He fleetingly wished he had been the one to do that for her.

"What are you doing standing out here, James?"

Both James and Lily jumped at the voice, Lily fumbling quickly with the book she had almost dropped.

James looked scandalized up at his father who stood next to him in the doorway, an amused smile on his face as he looked from his son to the redhead in his study.

"You must be Miss Lily Evans." He strode into the room, taking her hand as soon as she realized what was going on fast enough for her to offer it.

"Hello Mr. Potter." She didn't need to be introduced to his man. He and James look startling alike on the exception of the eyes. (AN: Ya, I know that sounds like Harry, but I couldn't think of anything else to say). His eyes were a deep brown, nearly black as oppose to hazel, but his hair was the colour of midnight, and; like James, stuck out all over the place.

She smiled up at the man, then passed a quick look to James. He was clutching his hair, but not in the way he normally combed his fingers through when she was around. There was a most interesting look on his face as he half glared at his father as well.

But his eyes met hers suddenly, and, for some reason unknown to her, she had to look away, feeling a blush creep across her face.



Chapter 2: Trapped
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Mr. Potter was more then happy to show Lily around his study, pointing out particular books that were his favourites or which held the most interesting stories or spells. One in particular on animagi caught her attention, and, pulling it off the shelf turned to pass James; whom was sitting in an armchair watching them, a significant look before tucking it under her arm. She was definitely fully intent on reading it, and even more so when James gave her a slightly nervous, pleading look.
Which, of course, she ignored.

The past year she had found out something quite interesting about the "Marauders". They went missing every full moon.

She already knew that Remus Lupin, a friend of James and Sirius whom was just as well behaved as herself was a werewolf. She started noticing the monthly disappearances and slowly began to cotton on. That didn't explain why the other two and a short (slightly dunce) boy names Peter Pettigrew went missing on those nights as well.

Still clutching the book under her arm, all three occupants of the room turned to the door as Mrs. Potter announced that lunch was served. James was already at the door when she pointed him away, telling him that first he had to wake Sirius.

Shrugging, he walked past Lily, giving her a small smile, and jogged up the stairs. A few seconds later they heard a loud bang and a muffled Sirius yelling about the absurdity about having to get up at all in the summer time.

He was still grumbling when they entered the kitchen a few moments later, taking a seat up at the nicely set table beside James' father, watching gloomily as the pot poured soup into his bowl magically before reaching to the middle of the table to snatch up a grill cheese sandwich.

Grill cheese sandwiches being one of Lily's favourite in her childhood, eagerly placed several slices on her plate, and thanked the magical pot (which caused Sirius to look at her strangely and James' mother to laugh) before digging in to her lunch.

Undoubtedly, James' mother was a really good cook, as she found out from the soup, and later on the cookies, so that by the end of lunch, she was contentedly stuffed, settling herself into onto a couch in the study and propped the book on animagi open in her lap.

She had only read the first sentence "Becoming an Animagi is one of the most difficult transfiguration to accomplish." and was briefly wondering how she possibly thought Sirius and James could do such complicated stuff when she was rudely shoved over from her spot. The book closed in her lap and before she could sit up straight again it was snatched from her hands.

"Animagi, huh?" Sirius Black smirked down at her after peering quickly over the front cover of the book. "You thinking about doing a bit of illegal magic now Lily?"

She glared furiously at him, sat up, making sure to move several inches away from him, and straightened her dress. "Where is James?" She asked, glancing over to the door to the study, hoping he would come in and save her any moment. A thought that actually quite unsettled her. Why would she need James Potter to "save her" from someone she could just as easily get rid of.

"Why?" He asked, his voice slightly singsong as he said it and Lily felt an ominous dread coming on. "Grown a soft spot for my little Jamsie?" He clutched his chest dramatically, his eyes twinkling.

Honestly, how could anyone find this man attractive. Yes... I mean, he was good looking... and his eyes were pretty nice... She glowered at him.

"Go away, Black." She snatched the book out of his grasp again. "I want to make this week as less painful as possible."

"Come on..." He snatched the book back, and she found her hand suddenly itching towards the cushion laying right next to her, completely forgetting there was a much more efficient form of punishment sticking out of her sock in the way of a wand. "You like us... admit it."

"I like when your nice to me, yes." She told him, snatching the book back quickly, getting up and stalking over to an armchair. Satisfied that he would not be able to squeeze in next to her. "But that's a rare occurrence isn't it?"

"I'm being nice now!" Sirius looked slightly put out. "This is my way of being nice."

"By being a complete prat?" She asked, narrowing her green eyes at him in irritation.

Sirius opened his mouth to retort but a voice from the doorway stopped him. "Children... lets all just get along." James strolled into the room, looking from Sirius to Lily with a small smirk on his face. He settled onto the couch beside Sirius, but almost just as suddenly jumped back up again.

"We haven't given you a tour have we?" He asked, his eyes twinkling in a way that she found quite dangerous.

She shook her head anyway. "No... why?"

"Always so suspicious!" Sirius wailed so dramatically James actually rolled his eyes at his friend.

"I thought... you being here to stay for a week, that you might want to actually see all of your surroundings." He told her softly.

With a small sigh, she placed the book on the coffee table at their feet, shot a dangerous look in Sirius direction and told him "This better be here when I get back," before stiffly following James out of the room.

They were going up the stairs when James spoke again. "I'm sorry about Sirius." She blinked at his back for a moment.

"What do you mean?"

He turned to look down at her, a small smile on his lips as he stopped at the top of the stairs. "His attitude... he's always been like that. It's just who he is."

She nodded, not really sure on what to say to that.

"He can be mature when he wants to be... and he's a good friend." He added loyally.

There we go, James Potter, loyal and caring. She had only seen this side of him a few times. Well... he was always loyal. Only a loyal friend would go along with all of Sirius' stupid pranks (she ignored briefly the fact that a lot of them were his as well). But speaking to her like this about his friends, about Sirius, in that loving tone. It almost made her change her mind about James. Almost.

Figuring that saying something rude at this moment would be inappropriate (unlike Sirius she could actually gage stuff like that) she smiled and told him. "Your a good friend for them."

He had been looking out the window on the other side of the hallway they had come to when she spoke, but now turned to look at her.

Lily Evans was suddenly feeling very trapped. One thing that changed last year besides James' behaviour had been Lily's behaviour around James. This was another factor in the terrible realization that she was stuck in this house with him for a little over a week.

Whenever she was in his presence, she had always tried to stay as far away from him as possible. After a brief incident involving an armchair and James' lap. And how was she suppose to know he was sleeping there? It was dark! And he should have been in his dormitory anyway.

Now that she thought about it, she should have sent him back up to his dorm as a prefect should, not run, blushing madly, back up to her own dorm never to speak of the incident again.

Now, pitifully, all she could do was stare up into his deep hazel eyes, feeling light-headed and fuzzy like, she was sure, half of the other girls at Hogwarts did in his presence. Damn him. Damn James Potter.

But the spell only got worse when he smiled, and whispered huskily, "Thank you."

She found herself wanting him to turn away, but another part of her wanted him to stay where he was. Maybe... brush the stray stand of hair that she just noticed now was tickling her nose.

That's what he was doing.

Right...

She jumped away, colliding painfully with the banister at the top of the stairs. Cringing and rubbing her back, she kept her eyes on the carpet at their feet, thanking Merlin that the banister was there to knock her out of her trance even though she was sure there would be a bruise there later.

"Sorry." His voice was still quiet, but not in that same tone he used earlier. This was more embarrassed. She looked up grudgingly as he turned away and motioned for her to follow him down the hall.

She noticed, with a twang of guilt that he looked slightly more tense then before.



Chapter 3: Closer
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AN: You all are lucky that I decided to stick chapter 3 and 4 together...

Chapter 3

Day 2- Sunday

Lily was never one for sleeping in, so she found it quite odd just how much Sirius Black could sleep in a day. At school, he had always been up for breakfast on time. Perhaps looking a bit blurry from sleep... but awake none the less.

But then again, as she stepped past his room, down the stairs and heard James' voice drifting from the kitchen, she supposed that the earliness of Sirius' mornings in Hogwarts was probably due to him.

Carefully she pushed the kitchen door open to be greeted with the smell of fried eggs and toast, and a James Potter in an flowery apron leaning over the stove instead of Mrs. Potter.

Resisting the urge to laugh, she entered slowly and took a seat at the kitchen table, watching as he placed the scrambled eggs onto a plate.

"I never thought of you as much of a cooker."

He jumped, turning quickly to face her, his face, to her amusement, turning slightly red at being caught in such a feminine apron. He recovered quite quickly however, she had to give him that.

Placing the scrambled eggs on the table in front of her he grinned, and did a small absurd curtsy, holding out the apron at the sides as if a dress. "Do you like it?"

Snorting, she eyed the eggs hopefully, and seeming to catch on, he turned to the cabinet near their very old fashioned refrigerator, wand in hand, muttered accio plates and she soon found a decorated china plate sitting directly in front of her.

"I made some for you." He watched her for a moment as she began scooping some scrambled egg onto her plate with a fork that was already on the table, then he turned back to the stove, taking up the plate with a large pile of buttered toast on top. "Did you want toast?"

He sat down at the table next to her, apron and all, pulling the remaining eggs towards him and taking a bite of the toast he had in hand. "Sirius up yet?" He asked, though sounded as if he already knew the answer.

"No..." She eyed him carefully. "Where is your mum?"

"At work." He was now putting an insane amount of ketchup on his eggs that he had just accio'd out of the refrigerator to his hands. "She wanted to take the day off... take you shopping or something like that." He answered absentmindedly.

Lily looked down at his plate in disgust, wondering if she would have to be around with the eminent sugar high came into play from all that ketchup. "I would have liked that."

He looked up, smiling, then began digging into his eggs. Holding down a look of pure horror, she slowly tried to eat her way through her own.

Once he had swallowed a good amount of ketchup drowned eggs he turned to her again. "Did you sleep all right?" He seemed slightly concerned as he spoke and she found herself blushing slightly as his hazel eyes bore into her. The events of the other day coming back into play. She would not get trapped again.

Looking down at her plate she answered. "I stayed up a bit late reading... but ya it was good." She smirked suddenly, and this time met his eyes as she continued. "I read a bit more about animagi actually... did you know it's illegal to be one unless you register at the ministry? Quite serious consequences actually." Then, satisfied with the look of nervous apprehension on his face she turned away looking out the window into the front yard. "It's a nice day."

Smiling sweetly at his still nervous face, she picked up her empty plate, reached around James for a piece of buttered toast, and left the room after placing the plate on the counter.

James, now looking irritated gave his wand a little flick and turned around as the plate began to wash it self in the sink.

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The sound of curtains being opened wasn't the only thing that awoke him from his comfortable slumber. There was also the sudden piercing light that insisted on penetrating his eyelids and the hard blow that was suddenly delivered to the top of his head.

Groaning and sitting up, glaring through he blaring light at the offensive object that came in contact with his head, he found James sitting at side of his bed, watching him with both a mixture of amusement and worry.

"Did you have to hit me?" He asked dryly, slumping back in his bed and turning over so the sun wasn't so bright.

"You wouldn't wake up if I was nice to you."

Sirius grunted and pulled the blankets up over his head, but they were snatched away almost immediately.

"We've got a problem, Padfoot."

"I was having a good dream." He told James, sitting up and acting like this was a perfectly good reason to return to sleep. "It involved girls."

James continued on like Sirius had not interrupted. "She's getting to far into this animagi thing."

"So?" Sirius was now rubbing the sleep from his eyes, watching James numbly through half closed eyes.

"So, she might get us into trouble."

Sirius sighed and fixed James with a level look, now looking fully awake. "She's just trying to scare us... besides I think she already knows or she wouldn't be so confident."

James sighed heavily and flopped down backwards onto the bed, laying across Sirius' legs. "That makes it no better."

"Since when have you been worried about getting into trouble anyway." He grinned. "Or are you just worried that Lilykins will be disappointed in you."

James sat up slightly, shooting him a glare. "No..." His look faltered. "Maybe.."

Sirius laughed bark like and pulled up his feet so that James fell back against the bed more. "I think she'd be more impressed with you once she reads just how much concentration it takes to pull off the magic. Hell, she might even start to appreciate me a bit more."

James was silent a long time, staring up at the ceiling and the light that hung over Sirius' bed. "I don't think she'd tell."

"No, she wouldn't." Sirius reassured him, speaking in a tone that James' mother would have used. "Why don't you tell her, save her from reading her little heart out." He grinned.

James sat up now and went to the door. "Your mad."

Sirius shrugged, still grinning at his best friend. "Think about it Prongs... She might like it. Ask if she likes hunting. Maybe her muggle father has a few of you pinned to her wall at home."

Without turning to face him, James, with laughter evident in his voice told him, "If you don't get up, I will ban you from the kitchen."

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James walked into the backyard curiously. He had walked around the house in search of Lily, (the study being the first place he looked) but was unable to find her. The last place to check was the expansive backyard.

Jumping the steps down from the porch, the did a sweep of the yard, taking in the old willow tree near the back and his mothers many flower plants growing along the old wooden fence. But there was no Lily anywhere.

"Did you get Sirius up?" Her voice cut into the silence of the day, and he turned to the source of her voice in surprise, briefly wondering why he hadn't checked for her on the porch in the first place.

She was sitting against the house, a small pile of books at her side, one propped open in her lap, her long skirt falling over her legs and pooling around her. She was smiling in a way that was clearly meant to annoy him, but to which he only found amusing.

Walking back up the steps now, he leaned against the railing, crossing his arms as he watched her put the book she was reading back in the pile. He noticed one of the books was the one on Animagi, but she seemed to only have it sitting there for his benefit.

"I heard you go up there when I was going outside." She told him, looking up to meet his gaze again. "I wanted to sit out by the tree but I didn't think your dad would like his books in the yard."

James shrugged, not entirely sure if his dad would care or not. "I threatened him with no food."

"Ah." Her smile changed, and he was surprised to see her looking away modestly, a small laugh escaping her. "I don't suppose he liked that much."

James shook his head, his head feeling strangely empty, and he stepped closer to her, absolutely delighted that he made her laugh. "Do you like the yard?"

She looked over the grassy expanse again as if to refresh her memory before turning to look up at him again. "Yes, very much. We don't have much of a yard at our home in London." She explain, her nose wrinkling slightly. "We used to at our old house."

"Oh?" He stepped closer to her now, leaning against the house as he peered down at her. "Why did you move?"

Again her nose wrinkled ever slightly and James found himself thinking she looked quite cute when she did that. "Petunia is going to a private school in London."

James nodded, then, knowing it was probably now safe to do so, sat down next to her, picking up the books and moving them to his side now. "Petunia is your sister?"

She nodded, now looking over the yard again. She had tensed slightly, he noticed, when he sat down, but had relaxed again. "Ya. She's older then me."

"Why didn't you go with them to her boyfriends?" He asked, for he had not know why exactly she had needed a place to stay so badly besides the fact her family was going to her sisters boyfriends for the week.

"Petunia..." She hesitated, as if looking for the right way to put this before continuing. "Petunia isn't like my parents... she doesn't really except the fact I'm a witch." She shrugged. "And naturally, she found someone like her to date. They're quite serious, Petunia and Vernon... and I'm sure he knows what I am now as well. I didn't want to be around them both."

James nodded, not knowing much else to say, but Lily spoke again.

"My parents think it's fantastic I'm a witch." She laughed slightly. "They like when I do magic around them. They say it's better to be different then normal." She was smiling, and he liked it like that so he let her go on. "When I bring homework over Christmas mum even likes to sit down and help me with it even though she hasn't got a clue what any of it is." She laughed slightly and looked at James, a small blush creepy onto her cheeks, a look of pure embarrassment coming to her face even as she said it, "I think they would like you."

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Merlin... what was coming out her mouth? She found herself having one of those moments where your mouth does the complete opposite of what your brain tells you to. Right now her brain was frantically trying to relay the message "Shut it right now." But instead her mouth was having a good old time telling James Potter stuff she normally wouldn't.

And then, before she knew it, the most dreadful thing fell out of her mouth and she knew the moment would end soon. "I think they would like you." Where had that come from!

Hastily, ignoring the strange look on a certain messy-haired, hazel eyed wizard, she stood, nearly toppling over from the head rush that was the result.

"Erm..." Come on Lily... you can think your way out of this situation. "It's kind of cold... I think I'll go inside." Brilliant. Avoid him until something better comes to mind.

"You forgot these."

She turned, already halfway to the backdoor, and stared dumbly at the books cradled in his arms before actually realizing what they were. Blushing fit to rival a fire engine, she walked carefully back over to him.

He was grinning, though shyly she noticed, but still grinning. She itched to grab for her wand, which, once again was stuck into her sock. She was beginning to regret packing so many pocket less outfits.

He dropped the books into her outstretched hand fairly quickly to her happiness allowing her to escape quickly. And without another word, she ducked her head and nearly ran back into the house, brushing past a confused looking Sirius.

"Lilykins, you're blush-"

"Shut it, Black." She stomped into the study.

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The screen door opened again just as he was walking towards it, but instead of Lily returning (which he thought highly impossible anyway), Sirius stepped out onto the porch looking highly confused but amused.

"How did it go? Yes? No?"

"How did what go?" He narrowed his eyes at his best friend.

"Did you tell her our furry secret yet?" He asked as if this were the most obvious thing.

James shook his head. "No... and I wasn't planning on it either."

Sirius sighed dramatically. "Well, mate, what's got her all hot and bothered?"

James raised an eyebrow at Sirius' choice of words, but shook his head with a laugh. "She just said something she thought she shouldn't have."

"Girl stuff?" Sirius looked back into the house, a comedic look on his face. "Did she tell you she has cramps or something?"

James seriously felt sorry for his friends lack of tact. "No... Honestly Padfoot, there is more to girls then that and snogging."

"I know." He had the decency to look indignified. "I have had girlfriends."

James walked past him with a sigh. "Once again, there is more to girls then snogging."

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Upon putting the books back in the study in their proper spots she retreated back to the guest room in the Potter's top floor of their house, collapsing into her made bed, silently cursing herself for her stupidity. If anything, she had made things even worse.

She showed James Potter, her enemy, her weak spot.

Ok, so calling him her enemy was a bit drastic she agreed. He had been fairly nice to her last year, and now... he was being nice to her now wasn't he? Had he grown up enough to realize constant teasing was not a good way to impress a girl? It was hard to believe this could ever occur. Sirius obviously hadn't changed much... so why would James?

She inhaled one shaky breath and let it out, staring up at the pretty chandelier type light over the bed. Allowing herself to sink further into the comforter. She had realized last night that the bed was enchanted to cradle whomever was sleeping in it. She was surprised she got up at all this morning it was so comfortable.

She gave an audible noise of annoyance as she rolled over onto her side; flashes of James' handsome face running through her head. That adorable look that was a mixture of surprise and happiness he held just moments after she said the one thing she dreaded most. Yes, it was adorable! And she felt horrible for even thinking this! This was going to be a disastrous week if she didn't get a hold of herself soon.

But as she fell silent, listening to the sounds of the house, (It sounded like James and Sirius were talking in the kitchen), she heard accompanied by the sound of pots and pans clanking, the familiar CRACK sound so well accustomed to Apparation.

Curious, she stood and went to the window, looking down on the neatly kept front lawn. A sandy blonde haired boy was making his way to the front door.

Smiling to herself, Lily and turned and bustled out of the room, fully intent on reaching the door before the others did.

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James looked up from the Daily Prophet just as Sirius looked up from the inside of the refrigerator as someone pulled back the knocker on the Potter's front door and let it drop against the hard wood.

Sirius smiled as she straightened, letting the door to the refrigerator close as he walked to the door. "That must be Moony."

As he entered into the main hall, he looked up in shock as pounding feet came down the stairs and Lily came into view. Her deep red hair dancing behind her, her skirt kicking up around her ankles. She paused momentarily, looking down at him as he looked up curiously at her, but poised to head for the door.

But before either could move (they seemed to be in a stand-off, or so it looked to James when he pushed open the kitchen door), the door opened slowly and Remus Lupin, looking tired and wary as usual, stuck his head into the hall, about to call out his presence before noticing the assembly in the entrance hall.

"Erm..." He stepped into the house fully now, looking from James to Sirius then, to his surprise, up to Lily Evans who was watching him with a smile from the stairs.

"Lily, what are you doing here?" He asked kindly, leaning down to untie his shoes.

His speaking seemed to cut the strange feeling in the room and they all seemed to move again and he kicked off his trainers.

Lily moved down the stairs and was now standing next to Sirius who seemed to be glaring at her. "I'm staying here for the week." She told him simply.

Remus straightened and past an enquiring look to James who, not to his surprise, was smiling cheerfully. "Really?" He turned and smiled at Lily who was watching him with slight concern. "It's nice to see you."

Sirius snorted slightly, but before he could say anything James cut in. "I thought you were coming tomorrow."

"I was... but I was wondering if you read the Daily Prophet?" Remus looked more wary then ever as he furrowed his brows in what was clearly worry.

"Why? What's happened?" Lily instantly tensed up as James motioned them into the kitchen, indicating the paper was sitting on the table.

"There has been more muggle deaths." Remus explained, hurrying after James with Sirius in his wake.

Lily stood for what seemed like eternity in the hallway, her heart racing madly, before she got up the nerve to follow them into the kitchen.

Please, don't let it be her family.

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AN: I'm evil...



Chapter 4: Diagon Alley
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Chapter 4

James strolled quickly over to the kitchen table, in this sudden chaotic mind frame forgetting that he could simply have magiced the paper to him. He had seen the look on Lily's face. And now, as he picked it up, flipping it open so it didn't flop over he looked round the kitchen for her.

"Where's Lily?"

Remus looked round too, but Sirius was already grabbing the paper from his best friends hands.

"I don't see anything about an attack." His eyes quickly scanned the front page before Remus turned and began flipping through the pages for him, he stopped nearly at the back, pointing out a small article.

"The ministry didn't want them posting it on the front page, bad for business." The werewolf explained with a wry smile.

James quickly stepped behind Sirius so he could peer around him at the article. (He was a bit too short to see over the tall boy's shoulder). "Two families in Shirmel Hills..." He furrowed his brows. "Where is that?"

Sirius shrugged. "An old Muggle couple and a young family." He sighed sadly. "Honestly, what threat are they?"

James sighed as well, stepping away from Sirius and turning to the kitchen door again. "I'm going to check on Lily."

When he stepped into the hallway, he found her sitting on the steps, staring aimlessly at the front door, hunched over and holding her knees.

"Lily?" He stepped up carefully, but she jumped at the sound of his voice, turning wildly to look at him.

She was silent for a moment before speaking, her voice sounding strained. "Who is it?"

He shrugged, feeling bad doing so. "A few families in Shirmel Hills."

Lily let out a breath that it was obvious she had been holding, and she stood up. To his surprise, she was shaking slightly and rubbing her arms.

"Are you still cold?"

She shook her head, a small blush coming to her cheeks. "No, I'm fine." Her voice was painfully quiet and James had a sudden urge to swoop her into his arms... tell her everything would be all right.

"Your worried for you family." It was a statement, and by her sudden tensing up he knew it to be true.

She nodded slowly, looking down at the welcome mat at the front door. "All the time."

He nodded slightly in understanding, then held out his hand to her, wondering briefly if she would find the gesture weird. But to his utter surprise, a pale hand was removed from her upper arm and her fingers met with his as he pulled his hand closed around hers.

"There's some cookies left over." He offered with a smile, leading her away into the kitchen, ignoring the warmth that her hand offered and the other feelings it was bringing.

She laughed slightly and he felt her grip tighten around his. "Thank you."

He wasn't sure if she was thanking him for the offer or thanking him for making him feel better but he still felt happy as she said it.

"Prongs, Zonko's is closed down!" As soon as James entered the kitchen, pulling Lily along with him, Sirius was flapping the paper wildly in his direction. "All the windows are boarded up and everything."

James opened the cupboard and brought down the cookie jar; passing it to Lily before speaking. "He's not missing is he?"

"No." There was pure bitterness in Sirius' voice. "Worried about the death eaters coming for him or something like that." He turned to Remus as if looking for support. "What the hell would the death eaters want with a wizard who sells dungbombs?"

Remus' eyes flashed and he sat down the glass of milk he had been drinking. "Maybe you both will stop pranking so much this year now? I mean, it is N.E.W.T. year and-"

Sirius snorted. "Your mad, Moony, absolutely mad."

"He's right though."

Everyone turned in shock to James, especially Lily who found her mouth was hanging open and closed it immediately. He was taking a cookie absentmindedly out of the jar she was holding.

But Sirius didn't reply to James. Instead he pointed first a finger at Lily, then one at Remus. "You both are corrupting my Jamesie, I will have none of it." He stood and walked over to an annoyed looking James. Slinging one arm over the shorter boys shoulder he addressed the room at large. "Bad influences, all of you."

Remus shrugged, fully used to Sirius' antics, but Lily was glaring at him.

"Your the bad influence Black. James should be studying if he wants to be an Auror. And you should be too as it happens." She added hastily, her brows furrowed.

"We don't need to study." He told her simply. "We're naturally smart."

Lily did not answer to this... because she could not retort. It was true, the two boys did seem to have a natural talent for pulling off everything without ever picking up a book. She was simply glaring at him, looking much like she'd want to hit Sirius over the head.

"I guess that's why all your teachers always asking you two for extra homework. Though I suppose they're just jealous of your natural abilities, right?" Remus spoke up, still reading the newspaper and lifting the milk up to his lips, a small smirk on his face.

And that was exactly why Remus Lupin was Lily's favourite Marauder.

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Lily went to bed early that night, which is why James was positive she wasn't quite over the shock she received earlier that day.

She had been quiet and withdrawn since Remus' arrival. And when she normally would have chatted happily with Remus, she only smiled and listened to his conversations with his friends when they were around her.

When Mr. and Mrs. Potter arrived back from work she had smiled when Mrs. Potter asked her how her day went. And come supper, she had said she wasn't very hungry and retreated to the guest room.

When James, several hours later, went up to bed himself, he found her door closed and heard nothing beyond to indicate she was still awake.

So, slightly put out, having been wanting to maybe talk to her before bed, he went to his room to sleep. He would talk to her in the morning.

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Day 3-Monday

A quiet knock one the door the next morning was her wake up call.

Turning over, she glanced quickly at the alarm clock she brought from home. It always came in handy when she was at Hogwarts and never left home without it. It read 9:12, it's pretty silver hands pointing at the numbers. She always fancied replacing her boring muggle clock with one from a wizard shop, but could never part with this one her mother gave her during her first year.

With a small sigh, she sat up, glad that her hair was in a braid so she didn't have to attempt to look presentable. Pulling the blankets up to nearly her chin as to hide her yellow nighty she called to the person to enter.

James Potter stuck his head through the door, looking slightly sheepish, his hair just as messy as ever as he quickly looked her over, a small frown showing on his face as if he was disappointed she was covering up.

"Yes?" She pressed, sure that he had been staring at her morning self for long enough. She glared slightly and he had the decency to blush.

"I was just seeing if you were up yet..." He hesitated, then, figuring that it can do no harm, stepped fully into the room. "We're going to Diagon Alley today..." His eyes fell onto the books she had been reading the night before, 7th year potions laying on the top of the pile. "But I see you've already gone."

She nodded. "With my mom... before we came." She stifled a yawn and was about to get out of bed when she remembered she didn't want James to see her particularly revealing night clothes. Lily Evans did NOT wear anything remotely sexy to bed... that's what she wanted him to think anyway. Though she was sure he had his own little fantasies about stuff like that.

"I suppose you wouldn't like to come with Sirius, Remus and I?"

She was about to say no instantly, years of turning down his dates and such still completely embedded in mind, but she formed her answer different mid-word. "N-yes." She sat a little straighter as he raised his eyebrows. "Yes." She added firmly.

He chuckled slightly and she felt her ears burn, sure her face was matching her hair perfectly at the moment.

She expected him to retort something stupid, something so utterly James. Perhaps 'Nyes? That's not a word Evans... I thought you were the bright one.'. But instead...

"All right, we'll wait for you." he grinned and turned to leave, but hesitated at the door. Half hanging out of it he turned to look at her again. "I appreciate it, Lily."

She must have imagined it. There was no way so much emotion could have just been packed into that one small sentence. She's only half awake after all.

But as she watched him smile sweetly, his hazel eyes dancing in the morning light drifting through the window she knew she wasn't imagining it... and the thought made her feel not only slightly nervous, but a particular fuzzy feeling to gurgle in the pit of her stomach. Something that had nothing to do with the fact she was hungry, as much as she tried to pass it off as that.

Sighing she clambered out of bed, rushing to the door to close it before anymore embarrassing situations could arise. Though she was fully ready to lunge towards the pile of books on the floor. She had a particularly good aim with books as Sirius had learned in their 5th year. Several times.

When she came down to breakfast 15 minutes later, it was not Mrs. Potter waiting with the boys, but Mr. Potter.

"I've taken the day off work to bring you all to get your supplies." He explained to her. "With the death-eaters everywhere, we can never be too careful." He smiled slightly at James then added. "Plus your mother would kill me if I let you all go alone."

After having Apparated to an alley just outside the Leaky Cauldron, they walked swiftly through the near empty bar into the backyard, taped the necessary bricks, and found themselves in the narrow crowded streets of Diagon Alley.

Though Lily noticed with grief that it wasn't nearly as busy as usual. Everyone seemed to have huddled in packs, darting around as if expecting an attack at any moment. They passed a group of first years all being pushed on by their mothers and fathers well they tried to get good looks into the shop windows.

Mr. Potter was an exception. He turned to their group, eyeing them warily for a moment before beaming. "I'll meet you all back at the Leaky Cauldron in a few hours." He looked at the gold watch around his wrist, little moving symbols floating around it's surface. "That should give you plenty of time, I should think."

After stopping at Gringotts for their gold. (Lily waiting outside on the front steps watching everyone as they passed in the streets), they all headed to retrieve their books. Sirius needing to stop at the robe store because he claimed he had grown once again over summer though she could hardly tell the difference. This made her come to the conclusion that he had someone managed to destroy his old ones. Her suspicions were proven right when she overheard Remus whispering to James, 'If he didn't burn a whole in the last ones...'

But once the boys were all loaded down with their school supplies, including books, potions ingredients and in James' case; a new cauldron, they stopped at Floran Fortescues's Ice Cream Parlor for a treat.

They had no problem finding a seat at a table seeing as nobody seemed to find such trivial things as ice cream necessary during these times. So, ice creams clutched in hand, they made their way to a round table out in the street, their supplies cluttered around them.

"So, Lily..." Sirius looked across the table at her casually, propping one leg up in the empty chair beside Remus as he spoke, licking happily at his red coloured ice-cream. "What are you planning on doing after Hogwarts."

She watched him carefully for a moment, then, upon deciding he probably just asked the question for some conversation, decided it all right to answer. Pulling her own chocolate ice-cream away from her lips she answered. "I'm thinking about being a healer."

"That's a good choice." Remus confided with a smile, giving a small nod of his head. "I think it would suite you."

"Thank you." She looked back down at her ice-cream to hide her embarrassment, but noticed James watching her from her side. She met his gaze for a moment inquiringly, to which she received a perfectly arched eyebrow in question from him. She mouthed 'what?' before he shrugged and went back to his ice cream, eyes on Sirius now as he spoke again.

"I'm looking forward to my job as an Auror... It will do me great justice to hunt down family members." He grinned happily, something to Lily that did not quite fit the situation.

"Are most of them..." She hesitated, her eyebrows furrowed. "On the side of You-know-Who?" She remembered his cousins Bellatrix and Narcissa, and his little brother Regulus. All were in Slytherin house, and they were definitely not very nice people. It didn't come as a surprise to her when Sirius nodded.

"I moved in with James for a reason. Well... that and I was living on my last nerve with my mother." He suddenly took on a high shrill voice that caused James to chuckle at once and Remus to look around in slight embarrassment. "Sirius, why can't you be more like your brother? Sirius why aren't you in Slytherin? Sirius, just go to school and blow up some students." He stopped with a small sigh and after Remus made shushing noises. People were starting to stare.

"Foul women she is..." His grin was slightly roguish as he turned and waggled his eyebrows at a certain group of 5th year Ravenclaw girls that were staring from a nearby table, all of which turned away, blushing furiously, to whisper excitedly to one another.

Lily rolled her eyes despite the sudden pity she was feeling for him. "Regulus doesn't seem that bad..." She spoke quietly, but the sudden flash in Sirius eyes scared her slightly and she shut her mouth instantly.

"He's quiet... it doesn't mean he isn't as slimy as they come." A slight smirk appeared on his face now. "Except for maybe Snivellus."

Lily opened her mouth to retort against this comment, angered more when James laughed slightly next to her. The James she thought had grown out of such things as torturing Severus Snape. But she shut her mouth just as quickly, not forgetting the fact that Severus had taken up calling her a 'mudblood' whenever she tried to help him out.

Instead she went back to licking at her ice cream with a sort of renewed vigour. At least Remus was grown up enough not to laugh.

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Chapter 5: Kites
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Chapter 5

Day 4- Tuesday

Dressed in overalls, (happy that she now had plenty of pockets to stuff her wand in if need be), Lily headed for the stairs, hoping that James had once again made breakfast. Her stomach as aching horribly from not eating much the night before and eggs and bacon sounded very good at the moment.

But as she passed Sirius' bedroom door, she heard a commotion that made her stop in her tracks and look curiously in through the open door.

Sirius was standing on top of his school trunk, leaning deep into the top of his closet, half hazardly pulling down stuff onto the floor.

She stood at the doorway looking in. No one seemed to notice her there as she raised in eyebrows in question as Black's antics.

James was sitting on Sirius' bed, watching his best friend at it with a bored sort of expression on his face well Remus seemed immersed in their new Defence Against the Dark Arts book they were assigned.

"I can't find it, Mate." He stuck his head out of the closet, looking a bit razzed with his hair all over the place and dust smeared on his nose. As he turned he caught Lily standing at the doorway. "Evans, maybe you can help me!"

She backed away slightly. "Help you with what?" She was quite aware of James watching her now; saw him out of the corner of her eye smiling sweetly at her.

"He's lost his wand." Remus spoke up, not looking up from his book.

Lily stared at Remus in horror. "Are you serious."

"No, I am, but that's not the point." Sirius was once again digging through the closet.

Lily walked fully into the room now, rolling her eyes as she came. "Why on earth would it be in the closet?"

"That's what we told him." James was grinning at her now, pleased that she ventured into the room. "But he says he's looked everywhere else." He shrugged. "You never know."

Lily put her hands on her hips, watching as Sirius dumped down a pile of complete junk, when something fabric and pink fell from the abyss above.

Intrigued, and wondering why Sirius would have something of such feminine colour, she walked forward and picked the thing off the floor. "A kite?" She turned it over in her hands, raising an enquiring eyebrow in Sirius direction. "Do I want to know."

James laughed behind her and she turned to him. He was eyeing the kite quite fondly as Sirius stepped down from his trunk and plucked it from her hands. "Me and Prongs were going to do a prank with this."

She glared up at the black haired boy. "Why couldn't I have guessed that?" She carefully took the kite from his hands again, a small smile coming to her lips. She used to fly kites with her mom and sister when she was little.

At the thought of her family however, her face fell and she felt that normal thrill of urgency. For what seemed like the thousandth time this week, she wondered how they were doing.

James seemed to have caught the look on her face because he suddenly spoke up. "Did you want to go fly it?"

She looked up, a surprised look on her face. "Now?"

He shrugged, grinning. "Why not?" He turned to Sirius who was, for the fourth time now, lifting up the blanket to look under his bed. "What do you think, Sirius?"

"What?" He looked up from his hands and knees, eyeing the kite before shrugging as well. "It's just a muggle game."

Lily frowned. "It's fun." Then she realized she was egging him on to do something with her and stopped immediately.

He stood, sighing and letting his eyes drift over his room for a moment before landing on the kite once more. "All right... I think I need a break looking anyway."

"It's probably in the most obvious place." Remus cut in, looking up from his book, then, deciding he might as well join in, put it to the side. He carefully got off the bed and inched around Sirius to Lily's side, smiling down at her in a friendly way that was quite different than the smile James always gave her.

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The wind wasn't great, but it was enough to get the kite in the air. Lily held on to the white string as it soared around James' backyard over their heads, making flapping sounds as the wind hit it in an awkward position.

Remus was lounging on the grass by the back porch next to an irritated Sirius who obviously wasn't very comfortable without a wand in close quarters. James was standing behind her, chuckling slightly whenever she gasped at the kites close proximity to the large willow tree.

He laughed even harder when she finally managed to get it snagged and stuck on a rather high branch.

Turning around, she sent a glare in his direction as he brushed past her. "I'll get it."

She expected him to pull out his wand, but instead he hoisted himself up the trunk of the tree, holding himself steady on one of the thick branches.

"James, what are you doing?" She put the string down on the ground and pulled out her own wand, "Accio-"

"No don't." He smiled down at her in a roguish sort of way as she looked up at in confusion. His hair was swept into his eyes and he was breathing in a way that suggested he had too much adrenaline

And Lily Evans found herself suddenly blushing, unable to keep her eyes of him as he clambered further up the tree, ignoring the jeering calls from Sirius about acting like a muggle.

James laughed down at him, his head appearing past some branches, his eyes dancing. "I'm determined, don't crush my spirit Padfoot."

He reached the kite in what seemed no time at all, and just as he had it in his hands, a loud "crunch" sound reached their ears and with an almost comical gasp, James plunged to the ground, the kite trailing after him.

Sirius roared with laughter well Remus gave a loud groan, and Lily found she was the only one running forward, a small gasp escaping her as she bent over him, her eyes worried.

"James, are you ok?" She hunched down letting her eyes look him over for any injuries, but she found him smiling up at her.

"I play Quidditch, Lily, I've had worse."

"Oh, have you now?" She moved away from him, glaring furiously now. She had actually showed she was worried about him! A mistake she knew, as she looked at James amused face, that would never be lived down.

He passed her the kite, then sat up, looking down at his ankle. "I think I sprained my ankle."

"Your lucky that's all you did!" She was now glaring at his ankle as if that was the reason for her embarrassment.

"You seemed pretty worried there for a moment, Evans." She nearly jumped as Sirius came up behind her, his shadow blocking out the sun so his features were hidden from her. But she knew he was watching her with the same amusement James was.

She felt herself blushing again. "People are generally worried when someone falls from the top of a tree, yes Black."

He shrugged and crouched down next to James too. "It's his fault for showing off for you."

She blushed even more. "Well next time just use your magic." She did a very complicated flick with her wand over his ankle, mumbled "scaurus talis" and James gave a small sigh as his ankle lost all swelling and was healed.

"Thanks, Lily." He grinned as he stood up, testing his weight on his ankle.

She mumbled a your welcome and stood up turning away from both good looking boys and walking; feeling slightly disorientated, back to the house.

Remus had pulled something out of the the coat pocket of the jacket he borrowed from Sirius, and was no grinning, waving it in the tall boy's direction. "Sirius, isn't this your wand?"

The last thing she heard before stepping into the house was Sirius' over exaggerated cry of "Moony! Your my furry little hero!"

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Day 5- Wednesday

It had been raining all day, but that didn't stop James and Sirius from taking out their brooms and flying around for what seemed like hours, leaving Lily and a tired looking Remus indoors.

Mrs. Potter had taken half the day off, taking Lily on a shopping trip into the small sleepy town of theirs. They decided it best not to go anywhere too big... and besides, Lily wanted to see the town she had been staying in for days now. The place where James grew up...

They had gone into several small cute little stores, one being a muggle candy shop where Lily filled up on her favourite Chocolate Malt Balls, sharing her large bag with Mrs. Potter who found them absolutely delightful.

In the end, Lily returned back to the Potter household with her chocolate, a pretty hair clip made by a local jeweller, plus a few small silver bracelets, and a new quill for her 7th year; something she forgot to buy on both her trips to Diagon Alley.

When Mrs. Potter left for work in the afternoon, Lily found herself sitting in the living room with a quiet Remus Lupin, both immersed in their new school books.

Sirius' bark-like laughter brought them both out of their reverie for a moment, and they both looked across the room at each other, her passing him a wide smile while his smile was more on the shy, withdrawn one.

Hastily, he returned to his book, a small blush forming across his cheeks well she continued to watch him.

"Remus..."

He looked up again, enquiringly now, all business like.

"You've never told me what you want to be when you finish school."

He blinked, as if the question surprised him and looked away, closing the book in his lap for an excuse. "It doesn't really matter does it?" He smiled bitterly and rubbed his noise. "No one would hire me."

She stiffened slightly, feeling guilty for bringing up the subject. But she thought he would say something like that. "Some people might."

He shook his head, a small chuckle leaving his mouth. "James was right... you try and see the very best in people."

She blushed slight. 'James said that?' "Your a good person..." She hesitated, finding the right word, "Problem or not."

He smiled earnestly now, sitting up a bit straighter. "Maybe so... but people tend to only see the bad side."

She stood up, moving over towards the bookshelf, giving him a little room. "You have good friends who don't care about you being a werewolf. I don't know if I could ever be so lucky as that."

He turned to her, watching as he walked along the book shelf, reading the spines of the books. "You have friends."

She shook her head. "Yes... but none are as close to me as you three are to each other." She thought about Peter, "Four, I mean."

She didn't know why she was telling him this. He was her favourite, yes, out of the Marauders... he was like her. Maybe he would understand best? That was what she was silently hoping for.

"I am lucky like that." He admitted, smiling slightly as he turned and looked out of the room as James yelled something from outside.

"Do they know that I know?"

He shook his head. "I haven't told them."

She laughed slightly and went back over to the couch. "I know their secret too."

Remus didn't stiffen, or react in shock like she thought the other boys might, he simply smiled. "I know you do."

She was silent a moment, just basking in the comfortable silence that fell over the room.

It was Remus who spoke first.

"Thank you, Lily."

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"James?" Remus stuck his head through the half open door, his eyes adjusting faster then normal peoples to the darkened room.

James was laying on his back on his bed. Remus knew instantly he pretending to be asleep. His breathing was faster then anyone sleeping would have been and his glasses were still on, but the fact he wasn't under his covers meant nothing; he always slept like that.

Remus sighed and pushed the door open just enough to walk in. "I wanted to talk to you."

"What about Moony?" His voice came through the darkness, though he did not move. He was remembering back to earlier that day, after he came in from the backyard, mud splattered, laughing along with Sirius; he found Remus and Lily in light conversation, Lily laughing cheerfully about something Remus had said.

It wasn't that he was jealous... no... the sudden plummet in his stomach at that moment was not from the fact Remus could bring out that side in her. It was because he realized just how much... how long, he'd wanted to make her enjoy his company. Laugh at his jokes, curl up with him in the afternoons... talk about their day together. The simple things... the complex things. He wanted it all.

Sirius had told him before they went to bed that it seemed she was coming around... starting to like him maybe. But Sirius isn't exactly the best person to take advice from on such things.

Remus on the other hand...

He sat up now, watching as his fairer haired friend stood cautiously in the doorway. "I want to talk to you too."

He smiled, he could see Remus do that in the light filtering in from the hallway. "You go first, then."

James sighed. "It's about Lily."

"We're on common ground it seems." He came in and sat on the end of his bed, still smiling, his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners. "What do you have to say about her?"

James was silent a moment, putting his thoughts into sentences, worried they might come out as jumbled as he felt. "Today... I think I realized how much I don't want to loose her."

Remus was silent a moment, then, his voice quiet, he replied. "I think you've always known."

The bespectacled boy ran a hand through his hair, passing a quick look to the door as if she may be standing there. "Maybe... but..." His voice rose to a higher whisper, strained, "Merlin... I don't think I can stand it if she doesn't ever want to be with me."

Remus was once again silent for a moment, he seemed to be collecting his thoughts as well. "I don't think that's the case... she may feel more for you then she knows herself."

"She has been nicer to me, hasn't she?"

Remus chuckled. "Because you've grown up enough to realize constant teasing is not the way to a girl's heart. As I told you countless times I remember..."

"I should have listened to you earlier... I might have had a proper chance."

Remus stood up, "I think you still might. She's here for a few more days... make it up to her. Make her realize how much you care."

"She knows how I feel."

Remus shook his head, a sort of pitying look on his face. "Does she? Really?"

James opened his mouth to reply, but shut it quickly.

"She knows you want to date her..."

James sighed, "your right."

"I know." The werewolf smirked and went to the door, he was almost out of site before James realized that Remus came to him first.

"What did you want to talk to me about?"

"Oh." Remus stepped back into the room a few inches, smiling again, "Sirius told me that Lily is suspicious about you, him and Peter being animagi... I'm with him in saying I think you should just tell her."

James fell back against his pillows as he heard Remus leave his room, his footsteps retreated back to Sirius' room where his cot was set up. "Maybe I will tell her...

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AN: Next chapter the secret is out.

Reviews please!




Chapter 6: Motion Sickness
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Day 6- Thursday

"Where are Remus and Black?" Lily walked into the living room, looking around as if hoping to see them... maybe standing in a corner, enjoying watching her walk around the house looking for them.

She had found James. He was sitting in the armchair near the books, and when she walked further into the room, watching him enquiringly, needing an answer to her question; he looked up, his hazel eyes serious.

"I told them to leave for a bit."

Ignoring the sudden thrill she felt in her stomach, and the fast pace her heart just took up; not knowing if it was because she was nervous or... the more terrifying thought, happy that her and James were now alone together, she managed a glare. "Why?"

He was silent, just watching her, and that thrill only increased. She had to look away, suddenly very aware of the fact she was blushing... nervous that he could see into her soul, into her imagination which suddenly began going wild. Just with that one look! What was wrong with her!

"I wanted to talk to you." His voice was silky smooth in a way she hadn't heard from him before. Calm... was it? Or perhaps a better word would be confident.

She moved to the couch, feeling she might collapse under his gaze at any moment. "Oh?" She still didn't look at him, only picked some lint off her blouse. "What about, Potter?"

He flinched at the sudden use of surname, but she pretended not to notice. It was safer... it was safer to stay away from him.

"I wanted to talk to you about animagi."

She looked up now, her mouth forming an 'o' of surprise. For a moment, she forgot about being nervous... edgy, and curiosity took over completely. "Really?"

He nodded, clearly happy to see her so curious. She knew what he was going to say... but she was happy to finally hear it from someone else. Hear it from James.

No... that couldn't be right. It would be just the same coming from Sirius or Remus... wouldn't it?

She held her breath as he looked away for a moment, then back to her. It seemed he already knew what to say. "I'm sure it won't be much of a surprise for you." He laughed slightly. "Your much to clever for your own good sometimes."

She ignored him, unconscious to the fact she was on the edge of her seat.

"Sirius, Peter and I..." He paused, watching her, only her, his eyes dancing. Her heart was pounding... she was sure he would hear it.

"We're animagi... we learned how to do it so we could leave the castle whenever we wanted."

She felt a smile twitch at the corners of her mouth. He was covering for Remus... as a true friend would.

"Thank you for telling me." She whispered it, not sure if her voice would work properly. He was watching her again.

His gaze suddenly took on a worried expression. "You won't tell will you?"

She shook her head, a smile coming completely now. "No... I won't." She looked down at her hands which were planted firmly on her knees. "Your doing it for Remus... I won't tell."

He opened his mouth to say something, but when she shook her head, he stopped. She knew what they were... and he now knew that she knew the Marauder's secrets. The deep dark one... and she excepted it.

He smiled at her now, then stood up, putting the book she hadn't even realized he was holding into her lap. "You can read more about it if you want."

Curiously she looked down to find herself staring at the cover his dad's animagi book.

Smiling, she handed it back to him. "I don't need to." No... she didn't need to. For some reason, James' words were enough.

She returned to her room when the two boys returned, smiling to both Remus and Sirius well making her way upstairs, ignoring the curious glances that the taller boy was passing to his best friend and herself.

She was on top of the landing when she heard James speaking to them, and she found herself pausing, listening despite the fact she knew she shouldn't.

"It's all right now."

They were silent now... but she could visualize Remus' smile; Sirius giving James a pat on the back... and she found herself smiling again as she returned to her room.



James was doing the dishes when she came up to him later. Or rather, sitting at the table overseeing his magic.

Dinner was over and this was the first time since their conversation earlier that they had been alone together.

He felt her there before she said anything.

"So... what are you?"

He turned to watch her approach. She looked timid... but curious. Her beautiful emerald eyes flashing the way they did when listening in class. Standing beside him now, she took out her wand from what appeared thin air, took up a plate from the pile of dishes that had just magically been rinsed, muttered a spell under her breath and proceeded to blow dry the plates.

"What do you mean?" He found himself smiling. Just being in her presence was intoxicating.

"I mean," she turned to him, both wand and dish still in her hand. "What do you turn into, when you change?" She turned back to the cupboards with the plates. "Where do these go?"

He gave his wand a small flick and a cupboard door opened up to her right. She deposited the plate in it then turned to start on another.

"A stag." She made a small noise that sounded like a snort and he grinned. "What? Is that so strange?"

She laughed now, turning to look at him, her eyes dancing now with mirth. "No, not at all. It's very typical actually."

"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow at her, absolutely delighted that he had made her laugh, even if it was at his own expense. "It's normal for a young man to turn into a stag and prance around is it?"

"Prance?" Now she was absolutely giggling, something he found very un-Lily like but found he was enjoying it completely and hoping she would do more of it. "I can see strut maybe, but I never thought you were one for prancing."

He ignored the blush that had surface on his face. "Is it unmanly to say prance?" He was on the verge of giggling himself it seemed.

She had to put the plate back on the counter to steady herself before talking. "That's why they call you Prongs." She laughed again. "That makes Sirius sound like a elephant a bit doesn't it? Or a dinosaur..."

"What? Padfoot?" He was silent a moment before laughing. "He's a dog."

"Ah... another one I definitely should have seen coming... and Wormtail? Do I want to know?"

"A rat."

She placed one hand on the chair, and placed the other delicately against her hips, wand held in her fist. She had no clue how perfect she looked, and James suddenly felt all his breath leave him.

"Well that's not very becoming is it?" She scrunched up her nose, something that James felt quite cute. "A mean... why a rat?"

He shrugged, "I don't know... the animals come to you, you know... you don't really choose."

"I know... I did read the book, remember?" She was smiling slyly now, and turned away from him, reaching for another plate. "A rat?" she whispered as she began pouring hot air out of her wand again.

"We should talk more often like this." It was out of his mouth before he could stop it, and he found himself holding his breath again as she turned to regard him, a strange look on her face now. Fear? Nervousness?

But slowly, the look turned to one of shy happiness, her smile reaching her eyes as always when she replied, "I think so too."



Day 8- Saturday

(AN:I skipped Friday, but I will bring up what happened that day)

Friday had been uneventful. The weather was still cold and wet and they had remained inside the whole day, sitting around in the living room pretending they weren't bored so they wouldn't have to do the housework that Mrs. Potter suggested.

In the end, Lily found herself dusting and tidying the house by herself.

It wasn't fair to say that no one attempted to help her. Mrs. Potter was sorting through old papers in her and her husbands office well she was in the kitchen and den tidying, and James did offer to help, but she turned him down, saying she could do it fine on her own.

And it wouldn't be fair to say he didn't put up much of a fight on the subject. He had actually grabbed the duster; which had been floating in mid-air in front of Lily dusting the bookshelves, and insisted that he do it. Sadly, she had to place a tickling charm on him straightaway so she could go back to her business, a bright smile on her face after that.

Come Saturday however, the weather cleared up perfectly around midday. The thick clouds still floated ominously over the sleepy town but the water began to dry up and the wind became a little less intense.

So... what would any Quidditch loving boy do at such times?

Once again, Lily found herself alone with Remus in the living room.

Until, however, he cautiously pointed out that there had been more muggle deaths.

He knew his mistake instantly, when her face fell and she seemed distracted when she tried to return to the book in her lap. Every once in a while, her eyes drifted over to the telephone near the entrance to the room (James' mom had muggle born and muggle friends she always kept in touch with); wanting desperately to dial the number her mother gave her for the Dursley's home. She knew her sister wouldn't be amused if she phoned to check up on them, she could just imagine the look on Petunia's face if the Dursleys began asking question about her 'estranged' sister.

So she didn't phone, only answered Remus' questions, if he asked, trying to ignore his attempts at conversations knowing she wouldn't be able to concentrate on such a task at the moment.

When James and Sirius came in later they were surprised to hear the Lily had gone upstairs to her guest room; even more surprised when she told them she wasn't hungry for dinner that night when Mrs. Potter called them down.



James hesitated outside the guest room door, his hand poised to rap against the solid wood door, staring at it intently as if, by chance, Lily would open the door before he did so.

She didn't... and he was worried about her.

He had tried to sleep, as everyone else in the house seemed to be (though he did hear Sirius and Remus talking quietly as he walked past Sirius' bedroom door), but was finding it extremely hard when he was worried about the red headed young women. She hadn't come down to supper, and when he wondered aloud what was wrong with her Remus had sheepishly told them about the information he let slip to her earlier.

She was frightened for her family.

He didn't blame her. Even he was worried about his family, his pure-blood family. Lily was muggle born... she had a right to be afraid when it came to Voldemort.

But she never showed fear before. Then again, it had always been in fear of herself that she never showed such things. She wasn't worried for her own safety as much as her families. Even that horrible sister of hers was a cause of her worries, and Lily was in just as much danger as them, if not more.

He took a deep breath and returned all thoughts to the matter at hand. Talk to Lily Evans.

He knocked, holding his breath as he did so. It seemed so loud of an action in the quiet house, and down the hall Sirius' room became oddly quiet at the sound.

He was contemplating leaving the doorway to tell Sirius and Remus not to listen in when a call from inside the room brought him back to the moment.

"Lily?" He turned the doorknob and slowly opened the door, peering around it into the room.

A candle was lit on the bedside table, casting an eerie glow around the small room. Lily was sitting on the bed with her knees drawn up, her forehead pressed against them. She looked up when he stood uneasily in the doorway, watching her.

"What?" She asked, her voice a hushed whisper, her face flushed, her deep red hair flowing down her shoulders and back. She looked so beautiful, even when she was sad.

"You can't sleep?" He walked further into the room, leaving the door open in case she thought he was coming onto her or something. He did not want her thinking that at this moment.

She shook her head, casting her eyes down to his feet. "No..."

He moved closer still, the desire to reach out and touch her getting stronger the closer he got to her. She smelled like flowers and vanilla, the whole room taking on the wonderful smell. He hoped the smell would linger there long after she leaves, but found the thought stupid seeing as they would both be at Hogwarts anyway.

"Your worried."

She nodded, turning from him to bury her head once more in her knees. "I keep having bad dreams when I sleep."

He stopped, within arms reach, but resisted the urge to stroke her hair, stroke her arms... "I get them sometimes too."

A small sniff came from behind her curtain of hair and she sat up again, wiping at her eyes, yet he saw no tears. "I suppose everyone gets them." She laughed slightly, but it sounded hollow. "I'm being stupid."

"No your not."

He said it which such sincerity that she looked up to meet his gaze, her green eyes dancing. Now he could see the tears there, just there, waiting to fall. "James..." She trailed off, her eyebrows slowly knitting together. "You-"

"I want to show you something." He cut in, holding out a hand for her to grasp. "I think you'll like it."

She was silent for a moment, just watching him, not taking her gaze off his face. Then, slowly, her eyes drifted down to his outstretched hand and she took it, unfolding herself to stand beside the bed in front of him.

He tried not to register the fact she was wearing a sexy yellow nighty, something he thought Lily would never wear but found himself liking it very much. He had dreams like this... but of course they never included so much sadness... and hadn't been dressed in his pyjama bottoms and night coat... and... well... they always went a little more perverted before it ever got to simple hand holding.

"Right." He said it before he could stop himself, feeling a sudden huge amount of blood rush to his head making him feel slightly disoriented. She was blushing too though... something he found a good sign. Though it could be because he was shirtless under his undone night coat. Well, come to think of it, that was a good sign as well.

"You wanted to show me something?" Her voice was still hushed but there was amusement there.

"Yes." He turned, and; still clasping her hand, led her out of the room and down the stairs. They were heading for the back door when he felt her hesitate.

"Where are we going?"

He turned to her, a reassuring smile on her face. Or, what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he could have just been looking like a complete lecher or something. "Outside."

"Why is that, James."

Without an answer he unlocked the backdoor, mumbling the word to undo the charm put on it, and was pulling her along the back lawn towards the old willow tree before she could protest again.

He stopped just short it and let go of her hand.



Free of his hold, Lily found the spell he had her under collapse and she wrapped her arms around herself, realizing that she was dressed in the nighty she hadn't wanted James to see it all. Well that all seemed completely pointless now. He had seen plenty of it by now.

Sighing slightly, she watched as he approached the trees and trudged past some of the bushes growing near the bottom. Curious, she stepped a little ways to the right to get a better view of the messy haired boy.

What she saw made her smile.

James was tipping water out of a tire swing which was tied to a thick branch of the tree above. When the task was done, he wrapped his hands around the rope and stepped back, smiling widely to her and making a grand gesture towards it. "What do you think."

She tried to look indignified but it was failing terribly. He was always full of surprises, and she found herself liking that about it. "Pray tell me what you plan to do now?"

Still beaming he stepped towards her, took her hand again; which had been offered without her even realizing what she was doing, and pulled her towards the swing. "What do you think."

Shaking her head she stepped up to the tire swing. "I don't think so."

"Why?" He moved across from her so that the suspended tire was now between them. "It's fun."

"No." She crossed her arms across her chest, eyeing him carefully. "I'm in my nighty."

He laughed. "So?"

"So, no."

With an exaggerated sigh, he stepped back from the tire swing, crossed his arms over his chest like she was doing and put on the most strictest look he could muster. "Sit, now."

"No."

"Sit."

"I won't do it." She found she was close to giggles now, feeling light-headed and cheerful; completely different to the way she was feeling inside when she was alone. Before James came along...

"Evans, Sit."

"Fine." She grabbed the sides of the tire to steady it, pulled one leg through the centre and plopped herself half into it unceremoniously flattening her nighty so she wouldn't show anything she didn't want him to see. "Happy?"

He chuckled, leaned down next to her level and whispered right into her ear. "Yes, I am."

She found herself blushing, unable to control herself. However, when James stepped away from her, pulling the tire with him she couldn't control the words that came tumbling out of her mouth either.

"I get motion sickness. It's why I don't like flying. I get sick whenever I use the floo-network."

"Oh?" He began to slowly push her back and forth, watching as she clung to the tire helplessly. "I'll be gently, I promise."

She opened her mouth to retort... but found herself suddenly speechless, watching as James got closer to her until he pushed off again, his smile never wavering. Merlin... she was loosing herself.

But she wanted this moment to last forever...

"I'm starting to feel sick." She whispered it as she took another swing towards him, staring hard up at him, unable to break that spell he had on her once more.

"Ok." He grabbed the rope of the tire, dragged along for a moment with it's momentum before he brought it to a complete stop, holding it steady so she could slip out.

Unfortunately, she really was feeling slightly sick and dizzy, and instead of keeping her distance like she intended, she soon found herself clutching to him, one hand clutching his arm, the other almost around his back. She felt his bare chest brush her bare shoulders and heard his heart beating as he forehead fell against his chest...

And she could feel his arms instinctively wrap around hers, making her feel warm and protected.

It seemed like several days had past, listening to his heart beating, his breath on top of her head before she got enough nerve to speak.

"Why me, James?"






Chapter 7: The way I feel
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"Why me, James?"

Her voice drifted up to him, muffled, her head pressed closely to his chest. His heart was hammering wildly and he found himself completely unable to control the action. His hands were moving without his consent, moving up along her back, the silkiness of the night-gown she wore brushing his fingertips as he lightly stroked her back. One hand came to rest on one of her bare shoulders and he felt her warmth seep through him.

"What do you mean?" He couldn't help it. He couldn't control anything. He leaned downwards, resting his chin nearly on the top of her head, taking in that wonderful vanilla smell of hers. He could hear her breath coming heavy, could feel her breath tickling his throat now. She was rigid.

"I mean..." Reluctantly almost, she backed away from him and he was able to look down into her wonderful green eyes, deep and amazing to him. "Why do you like me?"

He was caught unawares with the question, and for a moment found all intelligible thought leave him. She looked like she might cry, but he supposed it was from the light of the moon reflecting in her eyes.

When he did not answer right away, she shook her head; her red hair tumbling over her shoulders, and backed away from him a few more steps.

He instantly felt slightly lost.

"I don't know."

"You must know." Her voice took on a frustrated note, and she was looking at him the same way she often did at school. Like she had just caught him cheating off of Remus' homework or writing in a school book. "There has to be a reason."

He was silent a moment, just looking at her, and he realized the look of frustration... anger, was turning to a desperate look before his eyes. Something he was not used to in Lily Evans. "I don't think you'd understand, Lily."

"Wouldn't I?" She took a step forward again, and for a few happy moments James thought she would return to his arms again. However, she stopped just short of his reach. "I want to know."

He smiled, though slightly forced now. She looked so delicate right now. "Why? I thought you didn't care if I liked you or not?" She had told him so on many occasions at school.

"James." She looked as if she were absolutely fighting with herself now, her eyes downcast, staring at his feet. "Things are different now."

He felt momentarily dumbfounded, as if all the air just left his body. He was very conscious to how loud his heart was beating and the sudden light-headedness he was feeling. His body felt numb. "Is it?" He whispered it, not taking his eyes of her.

"Yes... No..." She shook her head again, as if trying to throw away such thoughts. "I don't know." She looked up at him again, holding herself strong as she met his gaze once more. "Do you think it is?"

"I don't know." His answer was automatic, but he really wanted to say 'yes'. The answer is 'yes'.

"Tell me why." She took those few steps forward again now. She was within his reach again, but he did not touch her, even though he wanted to so badly.

"Lily..."

"Please." She did not touch him, but he longed for her to bring a hand up, just... at the least, maybe hold his hand. "I want to understand you."

They fell silent as if listening to the noises of the night. He barely registered that Horris, the family owl was perched in the tree above them, the black owl watching with interest.

Finally James forced himself to speak. "Do you believe in Destiny?"

She was quick to answer. "No." She furrowed her brows in confusion.

He shrugged. "Then you won't understand." He smiled gently to her, as if to ease her confusion but found she was glaring up at him.

"What are you talking about?"

"Destiny."

"James Potter, tell me right now why you like me!" She crossed her arms over her chest stubbornly and he found he was starting to laugh which only made her anger worse. "Fine, I believe in Destiny."

He laughed in earnest now. "You already said you didn't." He turned and began to walk back up to the house, knowing full well she wouldn't let him.

Sure enough, she had grabbed onto his arm and held him back before he even took three steps. "I sorry, I just hate all that Divination stuff."

He turned to look at her again, a small smile on his face. "Fair enough, I don't like any of it either."

She looked slightly outraged. "You're just making a fool out of me."

"No..." He moved forward, taking her by the shoulders. Her eyes widened slightly as he did this, and he realized, blushing slightly, that she must have thought he would kiss her.

Good idea actually...

She gasped slightly as he brought his head down to her level, his eyes half closed as he brushed his lips carefully against her own. He could feel her resistance under his hands, but he could feel her need radiating from her lips.

He pressed his lips a little harder against her own and moved his hands around to her back to hold her against him. She gave in, he could feel her lips moving to his, accepting his. He could feel her hands press against his chest delicately, and her head tilt a bit to get better access to this kiss.

And as he ran his hand through her flaming hair, and brushed his thumb against her cheek he remembered the first time he ever saw her in their first year. The first time he heard her speak. The first time she ever talked to him. The first time she ever yelled at him, or turned down a date. And the time he had seen her, hurt and scared, sitting in his guest room, too worried to sleep.

He pulled away, knowing full well it hadn't been that long since he pressed his lips to hers. He wanted to go longer. He wanted more, but he knew she wasn't ready. She still wasn't ready to except him.

He knew this when she took several hasty steps backwards from him.

"Sorry." He wasn't sorry. He really wasn't. But it seemed the right thing to say when she looked so startled and embarrassed. Her face nearly matched her hair. He loved that.

She was silent, looking away from him now.

"But now you know." She looked up when he spoke again, her eyes dancing in the moonlight filtering through the clouds. "Now you know how I feel. It isn't something I can describe for you, Lily."

She nodded, then fell silent again, opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again.

"Sorry." He said again, a small reassuring smile on his face. "I don't suppose I made it better so you can go to sleep?" She would probably be more confused now then she was before. Confused... but perhaps not as frightened. It wouldn't be her family that worried her anymore at least.

She laughed, though it sounded scratchy and quiet. "I don't think so." Her voice was a whisper, the blush on her cheeks wasn't going away.

"Maybe..." He took a few steps towards her again, relieved that she did not back away. "Maybe when school comes, you can give me a chance."

She smiled slightly. "Maybe, James."

He hugged her then, pulling her close again. This time her body completely gave in to his, leaning into his embrace, her head buried in his shoulder. Against his neck. She wrapped her arms tightly around him, her fingers tangled in his hair.

"You deserve a chance... and I'm willing to give it to you." She whispered in his ear.

He smiled and, letting her go, took her hand in his and led her back up towards the house.


Day 9- Sunday

Remus left the house the next day to spend the last day of holidays with his own family. But not before having a talk with James; curious he was about the fact that James and Lily were suddenly acting very strange around one another. In other words Lily no longer seemed to get mad at him. She even seemed to stop all antics towards Sirius, who seemed just as puzzled by the change as Remus was.

"What changed, James?" He asked when just the two of them were standing in the entrance hall.

James had just smiled and shook his head, indicating he either didn't want to talk about it, or wasn't quite sure himself. But he did answer. "We've reached an understand, Lily and I."

And Remus suddenly realized just how much James had grown up over the past year.

Sirius was having a harder time coping with the new James, mostly because it seemed he had lost his partner in crime. Though when it came right down to it, he was getting slightly bored with the pranks and mischief making himself. They had done it all it seemed, and he was having a hard enough time last year coming up with new ideas. On the exception of snivellus of course. He knew no matter how much James had grown he would never be too old to annoy Snape... well... because he deserved it.

Sirius had noticed the change himself when he woke up at his usual time that day, around 12 in the afternoon, and came down stairs to find Lily and James talking quietly to one another in the living room. He had stood in the doorway a moment, waiting to hear Lily start to raise her voice or James getting frustrated with her.

However, that didn't happen. Instead came the distinct sound of Lily Evans laughing and James joining her.

Confused, he walked in to the room, wondering if the girl had lost her mind.

"What are you both up to?" His voice was playful as usual, but he held a look of deep suspicion.

James had looked towards his best friend with a small smile on his face, and Sirius realized, by the slight dancing of James' eyes in the sunlight that he was truly happy. It surprised him. But he smiled in turn when James told him that him and Lily were talking about Professor Slughorn, the fat potions professor who favoured Lily above most of his students.

"What do you think of him, Sirius?"

That was the first time Lily had called him by his first name besides the small amount of times she called him Sirius in class, and she smiled at him, instead of giving him the look of distinct disapproval he was so used to getting from her.

He felt like he had snapped and stepped into an alternate universe. "Erm..." He came fully into the room after that, taking a seat carefully in the armchair across from the pair, still eyeing them both suspiciously. This had to be some sort of joke.

But it wasn't, and he felt glad for that. James finally had his Lily.

James told him later what had happened the night before. He was hesitant to tell him, and Sirius was sure he left a lot of stuff out, but was happy he was told all the same. He had laughed after the story was told, and patted him on the back, congratulating him. Feeling happy for his best friend's final success, even though he was feeling slightly envious. He wouldn't tell James this of course.

Tomorrow they would be going back to Hogwarts, and things would be different.

It wasn't that he didn't like Lily. He liked her very much. She was kind and smart... though sometimes very pushy and nosy when it came to their pranks... and not to mention slightly strict. But Remus could be like that too.

Come to think of it... she was kind of like a female Remus.

He just didn't like it when she spoiled his fun, but he always let it go for James.

Things would be different...


"Why are we doing this?" Sirius tilted his head against the lush grass in James' backyard, eyeing his friend with an amused look on his face. James turned from the starry sky to smile at him, his eyes full of the same mischief that his were probably holding.

"It's fun."

Sirius snorted and turned back to the night sky, listening as Lily spoke up from James' other side.

"I like astrology, but I had to drop it to make room for Care of Magical Creatures."

Sirius held back the urge to roll his eyes, though she wouldn't see the action anyway. "That must have been hard on you."

She made a small noise of anger and James cut in before it could become more than that. "Why are we doing this, Lily."

She turned to him, eyeing him dangerously for a moment before sighing with annoyance. "You just said it was fun."

"That's how you described it when you got us out here, yes." Sirius told her, sitting up to see her better.

She was laying on the cold grass in her jeans and yellow T-shirt, her long hair fanned around her. Her green eyes flashed in his direction. "I used to do this when I was little, with my sister."

"I thought you didn't like your sister." He asked, raising an eyebrow at her, noticing that James was watching him now too, a strange expression on his face.

"She is my sister... You didn't dislike Regulus when you were younger did you?"

He nodded, a grin on his face now. "I did... little siblings are annoying."

"I'd say the same about you."

Once again James cut in, a slightly nervous expression on his face. "Changing the subject-"

"No, it's fine, James." Sirius grinned down at his best mate. "I know not to take anything Lily says seriously. Like her hating you for instance."

James turned to look at her as she snorted slightly and turned away, but both boys were able to see her smile before she did this.



Day 10- Monday

Getting them all to the Hogwarts Express the next day was some what of a hassle.

Mr. Potter was able to borrow a ministry car so they could arrive safely with all their trunks and school supplies. The extended interiors made it a lot easier to cram them all in and, sitting between James and Sirius, Lily rode comfortably to the station, trying to ignore feelings of missing her parents. This would be the first time they hadn't seen her off for school, and the last time they would ever get a chance to.

But James seemed to notice her discomfort and sadness because he secretly held her hand under his jacket until they had to unload from the car, sending her constant smiles and whispering sweet little comments into her ear.

As they came through the barrier of platform 9 ¾ however, she felt a painful squeeze in her chest that had nothing to do with her parents. As Sirius was surrounded by a large number of girls asking about his holiday, and James joined Remus and Peter at the platform she suddenly realized, after staying with them for a week, that things would be different.

As she glanced around for friends of hers, girls her age, she found she was longing more to continue to hang out with James, Sirius and Remus who were definitely a lot more fun then some of her girl friends.

"Lily!" She spun around, taking her eyes reluctantly from James as he laughed at something Remus said. She forced a smile as Catherine Joyce, a girl who Lily shared a dorm with, came rushing over.

She smiled politely as the petite girl told her about her summer, only half listening as her eyes wandered over the crowd of school students and their parents, ever so often coming to rest on the bespectacled boy who was now moving onto the train... and away from her.

"Excuse me Catherine." To the other girls surprise, she pulled her trunk quickly along, hoisted it up into the train after her and proceeded to follow the group of boys just ahead of her to where ever they were going, watching as they choose a cart and entered, still laughing about something.

Feeling slightly stupid, not knowing what else to do, she pulled her trunk along and stopped at their door. They hadn't closed it yet, and upon seeing her in the doorway James quickly put his trunk in the rack above his seat and motioned for her to come in. They were all smiling at her, with the exception of Peter who just looked confused, a look that was found most often on his face.

"I didn't think you'd want to sit with us, seeing as you had to spend a week with us already." He had a slightly apologetic look on his face as he moved forward and gently took her trunk from her hands.

"You wouldn't mind if I sat with you?" She asked, feeling herself blushing from the stupidness of it all.

James laughed and Remus spoke up, taking a book from his bag as he did so, "Why would we care, Lily?"

She passed an uncertain look to Sirius who simply shrugged, and Lily smiled. "I just thought I might destroy your reputation of trouble makers if I sat with you."

"We're sitting with Remus aren't we?" Sirius added slyly, nudging the werewolf in the ribs and received a scowl from the blonde boy.

Lily laughed again and took a seat next to James after he hoisted her trunk up next to his. He smiled sweetly at her as the train whistle blew and the train gave a shuddering jolt before picking up speed out of the station. They were on their way to Hogwarts.

"Does this mean that you've decided?" They were way on their way when he asked her. The treat trolley had already come around and she was snacking happily on some chocolate frogs.

She turned to him, a small grin on her face, then leaned towards his ear. "What do you think, Potter?"

"Yes?"

She laughed slightly, only loud enough for him to hear over the sounds of the train. "Yes, James. I've decided."

He smiled fully now when he leaned away from her, and she realized that this year would be completely different from the rest.

This year would be different because of her desperation for a place to stay. Her desperation that landed her at the Potter's house.

This year would be different because...

... she had James.




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