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Lead On by Infantasia

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,825
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

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

First Published: 01/04/2008
Last Chapter: 01/04/2008
Last Updated: 01/15/2008

Summary:


Wonderful banner by BrokenDreams!! It's Seventh Year and James is desperate. Lily agrees to be his girlfriend, but under one condition: he has to give her what a girl wants most from a guy. He goes on a quest to find that object, but his attempts are futile when she rejects him time and time again. He begins to suspect that she's leading him on a wild goose chase... but is she?


Chapter 1: Lead On
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Disclaimer: This is all J.K.R's! Only the plot is mine ;)


Lead On



Lily Evans bit back a groan when she realized that James Potter was heading towards her again. He just wouldn’t understand. No matter how many times she refused him, he’d just smile, step back, and insist jovially that he’d just ask her the following day. And after six years of being peers and fellow housemates, he still had no idea exactly why she said no every time.

She tapped Dorcas Meadows’ arm. “Do you think you can hold him off for me?”

The girl frowned. “I certainly can try, though I don’t know what good it’ll do.”

“Well you can at leas…”

James suddenly appeared before them, his smile as wide and radiant as always. Lily abruptly closed her mouth and turned back to her breakfast. He gave Dorcas a friendly pat on the back and turned his attention to Lily.

“So how are you doing today?”

Lily shoveled some eggs into her mouth, if only so she wouldn’t have to answer the question.

He seemed to find her tactics amusing. “So after you’re done swallowing, do you want to go out with me?”

She glared at him. “You know the answer, Potter. Why do you even bother to ask everyday?”

He shrugged and smiled. “Oh I don’t know, Evans. I guess it’s because every day is a new day, and there’s always a chance that you’ll say yes.” He paused and gave her time to digest the information. “Besides, haven’t you heard the saying ‘it never hurts to try’?”

Dorcas shook her head with a mournful sigh. “But it hasn’t worked very well, has it?”

“True,” he conceded. “But I’m willing to take the chance.”

“Potter, we have to get to class now,” Lily said, standing up hurriedly. She lifted her bag and stepped away from the table. “Come on, Dorcas. Let’s go.”

James suddenly reached out and grabbed her arm. “Wait, Evans. Can I ask you something?”

Lily pulled her hand away. “You already have. If it’s the same question, then my reply is going to be the same. One day isn’t going to change anything.”

“No, it’s not that question.” He grinned sheepishly, but then the corners of his lips fell. “I know I’ve been annoying you and all, but I haven’t figured it out yet.”

Dorcas gave a subtle nod towards the double doors of the Great Hall and flickered her eyes towards James before she left. Lily sighed and hoisted her bag up onto her shoulder again. Now that her best friend was gone, she really had no way of escaping him anymore.

She looked at him impatiently. “Make it quick. I don’t want to be late for Arithmancy.”

“Why do you keep on saying no?” James tilted his head slightly as if she were a complex rune that he was trying to crack. “I know it seems as if I don’t care, but you’re so…I mean you baffle me and I just…”

“So what do you want?”

“No, it’s what you want,” he retorted. “What do you want? What can I do to make you change your mind?”

Lily looked around and noticed that the Great Hall was emptying, but it seemed as if James just wouldn’t leave it alone this time. He wanted an answer, and he wasn’t going to let her leave without one.

“Potter, what do you think a girl wants most from a guy?”

James’ eyes widened, as if he was shocked that she was asking him such a question. She watched as the shock gradually receded, leaving him looking horribly confused. “I um…”

She shook her head wryly. “You don’t know, do you?” When he opened his mouth and came up with nothing, she nodded. “Here’s my reply, Potter. Once you give me what a girl wants most from a guy, my answer will change. Until then, please don’t ask me again.”

Lily didn’t give him a chance to reply before she turned around and walked out of the Great Hall.


~@~



“Hey, Evans.”

Lily looked up from her Potions parchment and stared at James, who had just walked into the common room. He looked happy as usual, but this time, there seemed to be a spark in his eyes that suggested that today was his lucky day.

“Yes, Potter?”

“I have the answer to your question.” And with that said, he produced a golden key from his pocket and presented it with a flourish in front of her. His grin widened when she eyed the thing skeptically. “So will you go out with me now?”

Lily took the key from his hand and lifted an eyebrow at the object. It felt heavy, as if it was made out of pure gold. “And what exactly is this, Potter?” She grinned wryly. “The key to your heart?”

“Nope, even better.” James perched himself on the armrest of the couch she was sitting on. “It’s the key to my Gringott’s account.”

Her eyes widened. “It’s what?” She looked at the key again, and then back at him to see if he was joking. When she found that he was serious, she nearly tossed the thing back at him. “Why are you giving it to me?”

He shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. “Well, I figured that girls always want to buy pretty things, right? And what else would they want from their boyfriends but money?” He smiled then. “I really think a girl can love a guy for eternity if he can provide her enough galleons to last that long.”

Lily could hardly believe her ears. “Are you joking with me, Potter?”

He blinked. “No, of course not. Why would I?”

She held up the key. “You honestly think I want your money?”

“Sure.” And he sounded like he really believed it. “At least all the girls that I’ve gone out with have. What makes you any different?”

Lily narrowed her eyes in disgust at the thought. How could he consider her so shallow? How could he even compare her with all the other girls that he dated?

She handed the key back to him. “Good evening, Potter.”

James stood up when she started gathering her things. “Evans, you said your answer would change.” She looked at him. “Does this mean you’re agreeing now?”

“No.”

“But-”

“You haven’t given me the right answer.” She crossed her arms, her Potions homework in her hand. “Contrary to your belief, I don’t want your money. I know your family is rich, and you could probably provide me with enough money so I wouldn’t have to work in my entire life, but that’s not what I want.”

He frowned faintly.

Lily smiled and stepped away. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”


~@~



Dorcas sighed dramatically and pressed a hand to her heart. “Ah, young love. Such persistence.”

Lily glared. “Very funny.” She was still fuming from the previous day’s encounter. “To think that I would want his money? Oh please!”

“I wouldn’t fully blame the guy.” Dorcas shrugged. “Everyone knows that the Potters are wealthy, and hell, you have to admit that James is at least decent-looking. Most girls only care about those in a guy. Money and looks.”

“Then he’s shallow,” the redhead scowled. “Why would I even want to consider going out with someone like that?”

Dorcas grinned and patted her friend on the head. “Oh come on, now you’re in denial.”

“I can’t help but-”

“Oh look, there he comes again.”

Lily looked up just in time to see James loop an arm around her waist and tug her out of her seat. She let out a yelp of protest, but her words fell to deaf ears as he dragged her all the way down the Gryffindor table to where she saw the rest of the Marauders. Lily desperately motioned for Dorcas to save her, but the girl just smiled and waved before returning to her lunch.

“Put me down this instant, Potter!”

“Hold on a moment, Evans. We’re almost there.” And then he smoothly slipped onto the seat and slid her in next to him. Lily blinked when she saw Sirius and Peter grinning at her from ear to ear, and noted that she was squashed in between James and Remus.

Sirius leaned forward with his customary huge grin. “Hiya, Lils.”

Lily gritted her teeth. “Don’t call me that!” She shifted awkwardly when she noticed that all the Gryffindors were staring at her. A brief look around the room confirmed that all students were looking at her…and the Marauders.

“You don’t have to feel awkward, Lily,” Remus said comfortingly. He put some mashed potatoes and gravy onto the plate that had appeared in front of her. “Dig in. The food’s good today.”

Peter nodded enthusiastically. “He’s right, Evans. You have no idea.” And as if to prove his point, he immediately stuffed his mouth with a large piece of salmon.

Lily glared at James, who seemed to be enjoying himself tremendously. She looked suspiciously at the chicken on his plate and figured that it wasn’t because of the ‘exceptionally delicious food’.

“Potter, what’s up with this? Why’d you kidnap me?”

James smiled innocently. “Kidnap? I just moved you.” His smile widened. “And you’re now the center of attention.”

At the mention of attention, she flushed even deeper than before and ducked her head just a tad. It didn’t do much, but at least it made herself feel better.

“And why would I want this attention?” she managed through gritted teeth.

“You love it, darling,” Sirius said charmingly. “In fact, all girls love it. And how else to get attention than sit with the Marauders during mealtime? The rumors are spreading already.”

Remus gave her some steak.

James tilted his head and grinned. “So will you-”

“No!” Lily stood up forcefully, nearly knocking over Remus’ goblet full of pumpkin juice. “You’re really starting to get on my nerves, Potter.”

His wide-eyed look almost made her feel guilty, but after thinking of all the embarrassment that she had just gone through, her last strand of guilt went flying out the window.

“But I thought-”

“Well what you thought was wrong.” She gave him a particularly disgruntled look and stormed away.

Dorcas gaped when Lily stomped past and quickly got up and followed. “Lily! Lily, what’s the matter now?”

The girl suddenly stopped and whirled around, nearly smacking Dorcas in the face with her hair. “You know what I just realized?”

The other girl gulped. “What?”

“James Potter is such an ignorant peacock!”


~@~



Lily ran a hand through her hair, frustrated beyond anything. Transfiguration had never been one of her better subjects, and the thing was, she was confused. The lesson on animagi had been hard enough, but to write a report on exactly how the transformation was made? It was practically impossible.

She was still struggling with her essay when James suddenly materialized next to her. He angled his head so he could look at the parchment.

She glared at him. “Can you refrain from bothering me at this time? I’m busy.”

“Is that our Transfiguration essay?”

“Yes.”

“Oh. I didn’t start it yet.”

Lily’s eyes widened in surprise, but after realizing exactly whom she was talking to, she brushed the startling thought aside. Of course James wouldn’t have started yet.

He pulled up a chair. “So what’s it on? The essay, I mean.”

“Animagi.” She picked up her quill and pointed it in his face. “Now can you please leave? I really don’t have the time to-”

He seemed to perk up. “What about animagi? The transformation? How humans can transform without altering their mindset?”

Lily stared at him, eyes wide. “You know? You actually know this?”

“What do you mean I actually know?” He lifted his eyebrows, looking a little insulted. “I know I don’t study a lot, but I’m not entirely daft.”

She lifted a hand. “All right, all right. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.” She sighed and stared forlornly at the book in front of her. “It just doesn’t make sense. How can an animal retain a human mind?”

“Because it’s only the outward appearance that truly changes,” he explained. “All animagi keep their human mind so they can control their actions, which is largely why McGonagall doesn’t attack mice when she’s a cat.”

Lily blinked. “So it’s the outward…”

“It’s like a skin, an outer coat that you wear that changes your appearance.”

She narrowed her eyes and peered at him curiously. “How is it that you know so much about this?”

James just smiled and leaned back in his seat. “I guess I just understand Transfiguration better than other people do.”

Lily had to admit that she was slightly impressed. She had half expected James to use this opportunity to convince her that he was the most talented being in all of England, but he had come off as slightly modest. It was interesting and confusing at the same time.

“So now that you have your answer, can you come with me?”

She knew it was too good to be true. “If this has to do with-”

“You’ll like it this time, I promise.” With that said, he stood up and took her hand, pulling her to her feet. “Besides, I can bet that you haven’t been outside in a long time.”

“Outside?” Lily extracted her hand from his grasp. It already sounded dangerous, and he hadn’t even told her what they were doing yet.

“Yes.”

Five minutes and a lot of pulling and tugging later, Lily found herself staring at the Quidditch pitch in dismay. James had gone to retrieve his broom, and she seriously considered making a run for it, if only she thought that she’d actually make it out of there in time. She couldn’t forget that James had a broom, and it didn’t take a genius to realize that he could probably do anything he wanted with it. It was depressing, but it was true.

He came soaring back towards her right when she banished the thought and held out a hand, his smile dazzling. She wondered whether he would ever get tired of smiling. “Come on.”

Lily took a step back, alarmed. “You want me to go on a broom with you?” She shook her head vehemently. “I refuse!”

“Oh come on, Evans, it’s exhilarating. Trust me.”

“Where are you getting all your information in the first place?” she asked, disgusted. “You honestly think that this is what a girl wants most?”

James shifted so that he was sitting sideways on the broom. It was hovering about two and a half feet in the air, so he was able to lean forward on his elbows and frown at her. “Isn’t it? All my other ideas were apparently wrong…”

Lily sighed and shook her head. “People consider you a ladies’ man, but you seem to know absolutely nothing about girls.”

He jumped off his broom. “Amelia Bones said it was the best time of her life when I took her on a flying trip around the castle.”

“That’s Amelia Bones, not Lily Evans,” she reminded. “And if I may jog your memory, I distinctly recall stating in my fourth year that I absolutely despise flying.”

James grimaced. “I know, but I was hoping that you would’ve changed your mind by now.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Three years is a long time, and-”

“I’m sorry, Potter. It doesn’t work like that.”


~@~



Lily let out a sigh of relief and thanked Merlin that it was finally Sunday. Sundays meant there were no classes, and it also gave students extra time to complete their work and enjoy the bright sunlight.

She pulled out a blanket from her bag and put it on the grass by the lake. Dorcas practically pounced on it and the two laid down to bathe in the October light. The warmth was waning, so Lily wanted to take advantage of the rays before they were truly gone.

“You haven’t seemed at peace like this since forever,” Dorcas commented, squinting slightly to look at the redhead next to her.

Lily sighed. “It’s our N.E.W.T year. Even though it’s only started, the professors are piling the work already.”

Dorcas let out a small bubble of laughter. “It’s not only that, is it? There’s the James Potter factor as well.”

“I’m beginning to think that all guys in this world are oblivious. They just don’t understand.”

“That’s why you have to shove it in their faces. Make them truly see it before they can understand it.”

Lily sat up slightly. “Are you saying that you actually want me to go up to Potter and tell him that I just want him and nothing else?” She rolled her eyes and slumped back down. “Right. Like that would work. He’d probably call me insane and rush me off to St. Mungo’s.”

“Or he’d take you back to his house and call out their own personal healer.”

Lily gaped. “The Potters have their own healer?”

“No, we don’t,” said an amused voice.

Lily let out a loud shriek and suddenly jumped up, slamming her forehead into James’. She yelped and grabbed at it, cursing Merlin and bloody Potter for her pained state.

James peered at her through watery eyes. “Bloody hell, Evans. What’s up with the head-bashing?”

“Me?” she cried. “What about you? Why do you suddenly materialize out of nowhere and-”

“I was trying to correct the rumors,” he muttered.

Dorcas rolled her eyes. “Bad timing, Potter. But hey, you’re in luck.” She grinned at Lily’s expression. “I think I’ll go talk to Alice and Marlene for a while. Come over when you’re done, okay?” She winked and danced away before Lily could sputter out a word of protest.

Lily crossed her arms. “So what’s it going to be today?”

James fidgeted slightly and stuck his hands in the pockets of his trousers. “Well…actually I don’t really have anything anymore.”

She lifted an eyebrow. “You don’t have anything anymore? As in…you’re out of ideas?” She couldn’t help but let out an incredulous snort. “Who would’ve thought the cocky James Potter would admit that he…”

“Lily, cut it out, will you?” he finally cut in, sounding a little irritated. “When have I ever acted arrogant in front of you?”

“When you assumed that I’d want your money!” she snapped, losing her cool pretense. “When you thought that I’d admire your popularity, that I’d want the attention you Marauders have. And what was with that whole broomstick episode? Did you-”

James sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I was just trying to figure out what you wanted from me. That’s all. I didn’t mean anything else by it.”

Lily turned away from him and looked out at the Black Lake. The water was oddly soothing. “Do you know why I reject you?”

“Because I didn’t give you what you want?”

“Yes.”

He sucked in a breath and then blew it out again. “But I don’t have anything anymore, Lily.” His voice had dropped a few octaves so it was a quiet murmur. “You don’t want my money, you don’t want attention, you don’t want to go out and fly in the night…Other girls have wanted these. Why don’t you?”

She sighed, contemplated her answer, and turned towards him slightly. "James...don't get me wrong, all right? I'm glad that you have money, that you’re so talented, that people want to be with you." She bit her lip. "But don’t you understand? I don’t care if you don’t have all that.”

James’ jaw practically unhinged. “You don’t?”

Lily shook her head with a small smile. “No, I don’t care, and I’ve been waiting for you to figure it out since the middle of Sixth Year.”

He took a few minutes to gather his train of thought and then blinked. “Now honestly, Evans,” he said, frustrated. “How in Merlin’s world did you expect me to figure that one out?”

“So true,” she mock sighed. “I had forgotten how slow you are at these things.”

James threw an arm around her shoulders jovially. “Now normally, I’d get offended by that. But since you’d like me either way, I’m going to be a nice person and let it go.” He smirked at her expression and blew out a sigh. “So my dear Lils, where to?”

Lily looked up at him. “What?”

“Hmm,” he pondered, “let’s start out with the kitchens. I’m awfully hungry.”

He meant to walk forward with her in tow, but she quickly ducked out of his grasp and took a step back. “Now hold it, James. If I do recall, you never answered my question correctly. So why am I going out with you again?” But even as she said this, her lips were twitching.

He frowned in exasperation. “Who cares? You answered it for me anyway.” His expression brightened. “Which means that you wanted me to win in the first place. You wanted to go out with me and…No, don’t deny it.”

Lily just laughed and shook her head when James tugged her forward, his arm around her waist. He started talking about a strange thing he had seen a few days ago, but when he noticed that she was silently giggling, he smiled inquisitively.

“What’s the matter?”

“I have a feeling that I’m going to regret this one day.”

“Naw,” James drawled, sounding positively amused. “You’ll just love me more everyday.”

And then he bent down and kissed her, sending all thoughts flying out the window. And Lily silently agreed, because, if anything else, James had to be the best kisser she had ever encountered before.


~@~



Author's Note: Lead On is back again! But as you can tell, different story, same banner :) Hope you enjoyed yourself and please review! Thank you!

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