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Kiss and Tell by SunshineDaisies

Format: Short story
Chapters: 17
Word Count: 49,792
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, Romance
Characters: Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 03/09/2010
Last Chapter: 03/09/2011
Last Updated: 03/09/2011

Summary:
AMAZING banner by ali at TDA! Thanks!








The rules were simple. Provoke each other. Scream at each other. Snog each other. Do this as frequently as possible. But don't ever, ever kiss and tell.


Chapter 1: Prologue: Fourth Year
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She cranes her neck upward, scratching her nose against his stubble, smiling as she lightly kisses his jaw. Lazily, she traces outlines onto his bare chest. Circles, flowers, stars and smiles; not hearts. Never hearts.

His glasses are still on, and his breathing is deep and even. He isn’t sleeping, she can tell, but he isn’t playing with her the way he usually does, lying on his side, holding her hands and occasionally nipping at her nose, her forehead, her lips, with his. Instead, he is lying flat on his back staring simply off into the canopy of her bed. He’s distracted. She’s not sure why.

She stretches out, pressing her body to his side, trying to gain his attention. She fails. Instead, she rolls onto her back stretching more as she yawns. Still not earning a reaction, she decides on a more direct approach. She rolls over so that her chest is on his, her chin balances on her stacked hands. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” he mumbles, still not looking at her.

“You’re lying,” she scolds lightly, one of her fingers now tracing his face. “No secrets, remember?”

He scoffs.

“James,” she pleads, “what is it?”

He grunts and violently sits up, knocking her off of him. He throws open the curtains surrounding her and climbs out of the bed. Ignoring his nudity, he begins searching frantically for his clothes. She looks shocked and hurt. He finds his boxers and puts them on.

“James!” she begs, trying to hide the tears that are threatening to fall.

He whips around and looks at her as he zips and buttons his trousers. He isn’t angry. His expression is one of confusion, and sadness, and frustration. He sighs and brings his hands to his face, slowly pulling them up and through his hair.

His eyes look back, searching for the words to say. He closes them and takes a deep breath. “I can’t do this anymore.” He states. The mixed expression she had worn turns to one only of hurt.

“W-what do you mean?” she stammers.

“This, this,” he can’t find the words, “thing!” he spits, “Whatever it is. I can’t do it, Lily. Not anymore.”

All she can do his stare at him. He turns on his heel and walks away.

Slowly, she brings her head into her hands, and weeps.



It started in fourth year. At the end of it. After she had begun developing the curves of womanhood, and he had grown at least half a foot. And an ego. Oh, what an ego.

They had been fighting, that fateful day in April, as per usual for them. He had remarked meanly on the size of her chest, and then claimed she must’ve had PMS for reacting so badly to it. The fact that she did have PMS, and she had openly mocked her small, yet growing chest, escaped her.

“JAMES POTTER YOU SLIMY GIT!!”

“What, Evans? Can’t take a joke?” he smirked.

“Oh, I can take a joke.” She spat viciously. “What I can’t take is moronic imbeciles who say things that aren’t funny!”

“You didn’t find it funny?” he asked, mockingly curious, “Well, that’s odd, because everybody else was laughing.” Someone snorted from behind him.

“When are you ever going to grow up?!” she screamed.

“I could ask you the same question, Evans.” He smirked again, gesturing to his chest for emphasis. His nonchalance infuriated her all the more.

The screaming and yelling and name-calling continued. At first they had attracted a crowd, but after ten minutes of a show they had all seen a hundred times before, they had all dispersed.

During a particularly vicious scream of Lily’s, James suddenly smirked. “You know Evans,” he started after she had finished telling him he was a pig-head. “You’re kinda hot when you’re mad…”

She looked disgusted. He took a step toward her. “Oh Evans,” He took another step closer, trying, and succeeding in making her uncomfortable. “Don’t pretend like that wasn’t the best compliment you’ve ever gotten,” It wasn’t. She stood her ground. “Like the hottest bloke in school telling you you’re hot doesn’t send shivers down your spine,” It hadn’t. He took another step. She stayed strong. He was close to her ear now, whispering. “Don’t pretend you don’t want me, Evans.” She didn’t.

She looked him straight in the eye as he smirked again. Before she could react, he had grabbed her face and pressed his lips against hers.

He had expected her to push him away. Slap him in the face. Knee him in the groin. Spit in his eye. She had expected to do all of these things.

Neither of them expected what happened.

She kissed him back.

It was sloppy. And wet. And exciting. The way all first kisses are. Two pairs of untrained lips moved furiously against each other, taking all the anger they felt towards each other and putting into the kiss. They worked together, in an unexpected, and unexplained harmony. Music and lyrics that just shouldn’t fit, but do.

All too soon, Lily realized what was happening. She pulled away from him. He began to smirk until she saw the absolute fury in her eyes. Her voice was low and terrifying, “Tell a single soul, Potter,” She took her wand out and pointed it at him, “and I will assure you the slowest, most painful and humiliating death you can imagine. Got it?”

He nodded slowly. “Good,” she replied before turning on her heel and leaving him in the corridor.



It happened again. The next time they fought, a week later. Lily was mid insult when James’ lips came crashing down on hers. Once again he expected a push, shove, kick, or slap. Once again it did not come. Instead, she kissed him fiercely and he responded with as much enthusiasm.

And again, the next time. James was just saying something about removing a stick, when Lily did something James had expected her to do the whole time. She pushed him. Into the wall, and began devouring his lips with her own. “Nice,” he smirked through their kiss.

“Impressed?” her mouth was full with his.

“Very.” He mumbled.

Her sudden dominance gave him an idea. With a burst of strength and a great deal of resolve, he spun them around so her back was against the wall. Her sound of surprise made him smile.

“Impressed?” he asked roughly.

“Very.”

Again, and again, and again, it happened. Every time they fought. The combination of their newly-fifteen-year-old hormones and the passion that pulsed through their veins when they fought with each other kept them coming back for more.

Their fights escalated, and so did their trysts.

“Heartless bastard.”

Their tongues danced together.

“Cold-hearted bitch.”

His mouth wandered to her neck.

“Cruel son of a bitch.”

Their hands wandered freely over each other’s bodies.

It became a tradition. Fight, yell, snog. Fight, yell, snog. Like clockwork. Fight, yell, snog. Both of them began to become enraged at the slightest provocation by the other. Fight, yell, snog. By the end of the year, more often than not, they had forgotten what they were fighting about by the time they separated. Fight, yell, snog.

They spoke of it to no one. Not friends. Not siblings. Not parents. Not even their pets. They didn’t write to each other over the summer. They didn’t mention each other when the spoke of school. It remained their secret.

Fight, yell, snog.



AN: Please review, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Chapter 2: Fifth Year
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The summer passed slowly. All she could think of was him. She wanted to fight with him. To battle her wits against his. Purely to remind him what a slimy git he was, of course. Wanting to snog him after the fact had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.

She strictly wanted to yell at him. Which is why when she received her Hogwarts letter, informing her she was a prefect, she was enthralled. She said it was a great honor, which it was. However, if she were honest with herself, which she wasn’t, she was thrilled to have another reason to yell at him.

On the Hogwarts express, she attended the prefect’s meeting and was both delighted and disappointed to find that her partner would be Remus Lupin. Delighted because the two got on quite well, and disappointed because Remus was his friend, and might keep him in check, which would dwindle her opportunities to fight with him. If she was being honest with herself, that is. Or he would let him run rampant, which is what she told people.

The new Gryffindor prefects walked from the meeting together, chatting aimlessly about the upcoming year. They arrived at Remus’ compartment first. Her heart beat in anticipation. He would be there, she was sure of it. Remus slid the door open. He was. He caught a glimpse of her as she bid goodbye to her partner.

“What, Evans?” he snapped, “A prefect now? As if that stick wasn’t shoved far enough up your arse.”

“Made it on the train, Potter? Funny you could fit through door with that fat head of yours.”

The three observers of the cabin groaned in unison. “Let’s go guys,” Sirius Black suggested, “Leave these two to fight in peace.”

“Or tear each other to pieces.” Remus quipped while leaving.

He barely waited for the door to close before he smashed his mouth onto hers. She gave in slightly before snapping back to reality. She pushed him away.

“Potter!” she hissed, “People can see!”

“So,” He moved closer to her again, “Let them.”

“No!” she snapped. “No one can know!”

“Why not?” he asked angrily.

“Because!” She huffed. “Look, Potter,” she whispered harshly, “I’m fine with snogging you,” she stared straight into his eyes and poked his chest, “but that’s it. No handholding, no hugs or sweet nothings. Nothing more.” She turned to leave, but looked back at him, “And no one can know.” She faced the door again, intent on leaving.

“Fine,” he stated, “Not like I’d want anyone to know I’m snogging a bitch like you anyway.”

She paused at the door, and pulled down the covering on the window. She whipped around, charging him like a bull. She pushed him against the window and kissed him ferociously.



Their game continued. The rules were simple. Provoke each other. Scream at each other. Snog each other. Do this as frequently as possible. But don’t ever, ever kiss and tell. They were not in a relationship.

Which is why, when the handsome and charming Ravenclaw, Joseph Goode asked her out, Lily gladly accepted. They didn’t announce it. Instead, they held hands when they were walking to the same place, studied together, occasionally stole kisses, and waited for the news to trickle down the grapevine. They made it almost a week before his ears were enlarged to ten times their original size.

“You have a fucking boyfriend?” James whispered harshly. He had cornered her in a deserted corridor.

She looked him directly in the eye, just as strictly as he was, “Not that it’s any of your business,” she moved away from him, “but as a matter of fact, I do.” She began to walk away.

He grabbed her arm and spun her around. “Are you kidding me?”

“No,” she shrugged him off. She began walking away again.

“What’s your problem, Evans?” he hollered after her.

She turned on her heel. “I don’t have a problem, Potter.” She spat.

“Oh, really?” He pretended to think, “You have a boyfriend, but you’re snogging me,” he paused, “That sounds like a problem, Evans.”

“No, see, because I was snogging you, as in past tense, when I didn’t have a boyfriend. And I’m not now, when I do have a boyfriend. No problem.” She turned to walk away, but stopped, “We are not, in a relationship, Potter. I’m allowed to date.”

“Fine,” he seemed to concede. “Have a boyfriend. I don’t care.” He stepped closer to her, and brought his lips to hers. It wasn’t rough, or angry like the others. It was soft, and sweet, and gentle. Not demanding, but still passionate. He pulled back before she consciously started to respond. “Just remember that.”

She broke up with him the next day. Not for him, in any way, but because she had decided she just didn’t feel that way about Joseph. Nobody could feel that way about anyone else after a kiss like that.

James smirked when he found out.

From then on, a new rule was added. Don’t date.



James had nothing to do with her for the next week. It annoyed her. Normally they sno-fought and least twice a week. But since their last incident, James had ignored her. She wanted to change that.

“POTTER!” she screamed. He was relatively alone, perfect timing.

“What do you want, Evans?” he spat violently.

“Don’t pretend like you don’t know, Potter!” The people around them cleared the area, bored and slightly frightened.

“No, Evans, I actually don’t.”

As soon as the last people had vacated their secluded corner of the common room, she kissed him. He pulled away from her almost immediately.

“So that’s what this is about?” he whispered curiously.

“Like you didn’t know.” She was straddling him, purring seductively in his ear. She came back to face him, her eyelashes brushing against the lenses of his glasses.

“No more boyfriend then?”

“No.” She was kissing him again, soft and slow.

“Good,” he murmured.

They continued kissing, sweetly this time, as opposed to their usually rough style. Their hands roamed over each other. Hair, face, chest, hips. Soon, Lily was aware that her blouse was slowly coming free of her skirt. She felt his rough hands on her stomach, her sides, her back. She relished in the feeling of his calluses on her smooth skin. Her own hands are tracing his face, feeling the soft almost-stubble that has grown there. She felt his hands rise, and fished them out before they go too far. She threads her smooth fingers between his rough ones.

“I thought you said no handholding?”

She pulled away from him and chuckled. “Shut up.” She said before kissing him again.



They both enjoyed their newfound style of kissing, more than they had thought possible. She preferred the sweetness of it. He liked that it tended to last longer than their angry trysts.

They began to seek each other out. He waited inside unused classrooms on her route back from the library. She snuck into the locker rooms after quidditch practice. It was still passionate, but it no longer required fighting for them to get there.

Lily gasped as she stumbled into a classroom she had not meant to enter. She saw him there immediately, smirking proudly. She simply rolled her eyes at his arrogance.

“How do you always know where I am?” she asked as he closed the door behind her and gently pushed her into it.

“Why does it matter?” he answered lightly before pressing his lips to hers. She shrugged it off as one of his many talents, and pulled him closer to her.

He unbuttoned her shirt slightly before placing his lips on her neck. Her eye rolled into the back of her head, and she leaned against the door, allowing him greater access. “James,” she moaned. Her use of his first name encouraged him greatly. His hands found their way up her shirt; she didn’t stop them. “James,” she was slightly louder this time. His hands crept up her skirt. He sucked at her neck, “James,” his hands crept higher. “James,” she was warning him now. His hands were at her hips, toying with her knickers. “James,” she was forceful. They moved inward. “Stop.” They came closer. “Stop.” Closer still. “Potter! Stop!”

He backed away from her, looking guilty. He mumbled an apology. She mumbled an acceptance.

He ran his hand through his hair, and she began to fix her uniform. She tucked in her blouse, pulled down her skirt and buttoned her shirt. When she reached her collar, she gently touched the spot James had been sucking. “Well,” she looked at him, “that’s going to leave a mark.” They both chuckled.



Lily waited patiently outside the quidditch pitch. Practice was almost over. She could see the figures in the sky come down one by one. Soon they began exiting. She counted them as they left. Benjy Fenwik; one. Ashley Jackson and Cindy Jones; two, three. John Clark; four. Robbie O’Keefe; five. Leah Thomas; perfect.

She slipped into the locker room and saw him there. He was wet from his shower and he hadn’t put a shirt on yet. He was bent over, waxing his broom. Quietly, she walked over to him. She snaked her arms around his waist, and began kissing his neck. “You taste like soap,” she crooned.

“Better than sweat?” he chuckled.

“Not a chance.”

He laughed and pulled her onto his lap. She traced the muscles on his chest as they kissed. Occasionally, one of her eyelids brushed against his glasses. His hands slipped under her t-shirt and she pulled away from him. He started to apologize; she placed a finger to his swollen lips. She pulled her shirt over her head, and watched in amusement as his eyes grew exponentially. Before she could say anything, or even smirk properly, he had kissed her enthusiastically in gratitude and excitement.



Of course, despite their newfound joy of snogging without screaming at each other, they still fought. It was the result several fundamental differences between the two. He was arrogant and mocked the helpless. She was humble and defended them. He thought he had the right to do whatever he pleased; she always obeyed the rules. He thought the Slytherins were evil and heartless. She looked for the good in everybody. They both had their rough points, and it created a violent friction when they clashed. It created the heat in their physical relationship, and created the inferno that the world saw.

Lily was lounging by the lake one summer afternoon, giggling with her girlfriends and dipping her feet into the water. They had just taken one of their O.W.L.’s, and they were all mentally exhausted. She silently contemplated how best to get James alone next, when she heard a commotion from down the shoreline.

She saw her best friend hanging by his ankle. Looking quickly around, she found his tormentors. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t. He was. She was furious. She stormed over to them.

The fight that ensued rivaled any that they had had before. And he had asked her out. James had asked her out. Of course she had said no. Asking, demanding really, a girl out while torturing her best friend was not really romantic. And anyway, as attractive, and completely snoggable as he was, James Potter was definitely not boyfriend material.

And then, then after being shocked to her core and completely enraged, the worst had happened. “Mudblood.” Sev had called her a mudblood. It broke her heart. Shattered it. She played it off coolly, as James defended her, but as she turned her heel and walked into the castle, tears threatened to fall.

She meandered the corridors, willing the tears back, and taking deep breaths. On the fifth floor she began to hear footsteps behind her. Hurried, loud, cocky, footsteps. She recognized them immediately, and therefore, was not surprised when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Pot-“ He cut her off with his mouth.

She lost herself, the way she always did when he kissed her that way. Passionate, fiery and, apologetic? She concentrated wholly on him, and was only vaguely aware when he started moving them into a nearby classroom.

He closed the door behind them, and she pushed him against it. Their kissing became more frantic. James, wanting more leverage, walked them back, until Lily hit a table. He moved his lips to her neck. She leaned her head back. He lifted her so she was sitting on the table. She pulled him closer to her and brought their lips together again. She unbuttoned the top of his shirt, and ran her hands over his chest. His found her thighs, and stroked them, steadily climbing higher. Once again, his lips found her neck. She moaned, “James.”

Encouraged, he led her downward. “James,” His hands were still climbing. She found his mouth and pressed hard against it. “James,” Their tongues were wrestling. His hands had found their way under her skirt. “James,” His fingers toyed with her knickers “James,” Immediately, he backed down. She broke away from him, and her hands moved to his belt. Her eyes were pleading with him. “Don’t stop.”

He obliged her. They pressed onward until she gasped in pain.

It didn’t last long. One moment of awkward, uncomfortable, strange pleasure, and then they separated. They turned away from each other and straightened the clothes they had left on in their haste.

She sat back down on the table, breathing deeply. He sat next to her, and attempted to comfort her with his hands on her shoulder. She simply jumped up immediately when he touched her. “I-I have to,” she could feel the tears burning her eyes, “I have to go.”

She left the room, leaving James bewildered. As soon as the door was closed behind her, she broke into a run. She didn’t know where she was going, but she knew it had to be away from there. Tears flowed down her eyes, and she couldn’t even bother to wipe them away.


AN: Love it? Hate it? Needs work? Please tell me what you think!

Chapter 3: Summer
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Evans,

Are you okay? I just wanted to make sure. You seemed a little off after we, well, you know… Write me back.

James




Evans,

I’m sorry if you’re mad. But really, are you okay? We can get together and talk about it if you want. Just please write me back. I want to hear from you. I’m
(several things were scratched out) worried about you. I (several more things were scratched out.) miss you.

James




Lily,

Please, please talk to me. I need to hear from you. I need to see you. I miss you. Just please, please, please talk to me. Write me back. Meet me. Please.

James





She hadn’t meant to ignore the letters. She had attempted to respond to the first one, and had managed to write a sentence before her tears started flowing, and ruined the parchment. The next day she attempted to write another letter. Again, her tears had ruined the parchment. Deciding it just was not worth it, she put the thought aside, and hoped that James was just being courteous.

The second letter told her otherwise. He wasn’t just being polite. It seemed that he... actually cared? It scared her. He wasn’t supposed to care. But, if she thought about, neither was she. Responding to that letter was much harder than the first. She had absolutely no idea what to write. She stared at a blank piece of parchment for at least an hour, before deciding she could just not be bothered with it.

The third did it. It took her shattered heart, put it back together, and then broke it again in completely new ways. She couldn’t ignore this one. Faced with the same problems that had plagued her with the first two attempted responses. She ruined several pieces of blank parchment. Finally, she managed to scratch a single word out before the tears began to roll.

Okay.




Lily arrived at the Leaky Cauldron at exactly half past noon, just like they had agreed. She was thankful to find that it was mostly empty. Although, it was a Tuesday, and most people had jobs or appointments or children to care for that left them far to busy for an afternoon visit to a pub.

She found a seat at a table facing the fireplace, and waited. The barkeep offered her a drink, which she politely declined. She tapped her foot. The clock read twelve thirty-two. She twiddled her thumbs. Twelve thirty-three. She ran her fingers through her hair. Twelve thirty-five. He was late. He wasn’t coming. Her stomach churned. Twelve thirty-seven. He wouldn’t stand her up. He wouldn't beg her to come and then not show. Twelve forty. The fire roared bright green and her eyes grew hopefully. An old witch stepped out. Twelve forty-four. She checked her makeup in her compact. Twelve forty-eight. Again, the fire turned to emeralds. She held her breath.

She breathed out in relief, “Sorry I’m late.”

“It’s fine,” She said coolly.

“You weren’t waiting long?”

Eighteen minutes. “No, not at all.”

“Good,” he nodded, “Should we be off then?”

“Yeah.”

The two stepped out into muggle London, and quickly found an ice cream shop. The stepped inside to find it was extremely crowded. They pushed through the crowd to the end of the line. More than once, the pushed, shoved, and bumped into. After ages, they made it to the counter, and placed their orders. To go.

“I hate people,” Lily muttered as she fished through her purse.

“Me too.” He laid some muggle money on the counter. He stopped Lily as she went to lay her own money on the counter. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it.”

“You don’t have to,” she tilted her head slightly to one side.

“I know,” he smiled, “I want to.”

She sent a small smile back at him, “Thanks.”

“It’s not a problem,” he took his change and put it back into his wallet, “Now, let’s get out of here.”

They left the shop, and wandered around searching for a secluded area. They found none. Eventually they came to a park. Children were playing, Lily notice a game of kickball in the grass. Laughter, yelling and shouts of glee surrounded them. They strolled through it, chatting idly about the weather, and avoiding all mention of the reason they were there.

Lily wanted to talk about it. Really, she did. She wanted to tell someone about the emptiness, the loneliness, the ice that consumed her. She just didn’t want to talk about it with him. Yet, he was the only one. She did not talk to her sister. Her mother would be so ashamed she wouldn’t even be able to look at her. She had no close girl friends, and her best friend, Severus, whom she might have told at one point, thought she was scum. Although, when she thought about it, Severus would never have spoken to her again if he found out. And so James was her only option. He, who had caused these feelings, was the only chance she had of dealing with them.

They passed a bench, and Lily motioned for them to sit.

“So,” he started and trailed off.

“So,” she repeated.

They sat in silence for a moment, before he blurted out, “You’re okay, right? You’re not,” he lowered his voice and looked around nervously, “pregnant?”

“No!” she chuckled despite herself, “I-I would’ve told you that.” She looked toward the kids playing kickball.

“Good,” he nodded apprehensively, “so, you’re okay, then?” She nodded while staring intently at the kids in the field. Vaguely, she noticed a red object whizzing toward her. “You’re sure?”

“I-I,” James leaned quickly toward her, and pulled the kickball out of the air just before it struck Lily in the face. “I really hate people.” James laughed as he lazily threw the ball back to the children.

“Nice catch, mate!”

He flashed them a grin and a wave before turning back to Lily. “We can go back to my place,” he offered. Noting her look of shock and apprehension, he added, “My parents are out of town, and we can finish talking there.”

She inhaled deeply, thoughtfully. She exhaled slowly and agreed, “Okay.”

They walked back in silence; their conversation was far too intense to speak while walking. Instead, they stepped purposefully, and remained awkwardly quiet. A passerby might’ve thought they were merely strangers walking near each other.

They arrived at the Leaky Cauldron, and together they flooed to Potter Manor.

Lily was awed by the simple grandeur the parlor alone exuded. James saw the wonder in her expression, and chuckled at her. “It’s pretty great, isn’t it?”

Lily could only nod her head. She looked at him, “I feel like I shouldn’t touch anything,”

He laughed again. “You can take a seat if you’d like,” he offered, and then, seeing her slightly uncomfortable demeanor, “or we can go upstairs...”

“Is upstairs less like a museum?”

“Maybe.”

“Let’s go then!”

He led her upstairs, through a grand hallway lined with brilliant still lifes and abstract pieces. Lily admired them in amazement, trying to take everything in as she followed absentmindedly. Finally, he brought them to a great walnut door.

As he opened it, he revealed a room Lily was much more comfortable with, however extravagant it was. It was furnished with royal blue and walnut pieces, squashy, well worn, well loved. They were centered around a small cast-iron oven. Across the room, two large windows filled the room with sunlight. Vaguely, it reminded her of the common room.

“Better?” he asked smirking slightly.

“Much,” she nodded.

He motioned for her to sit on the couch. She did, and he sat next to her. “So,” he started, once he had made himself comfortable, “what were we talking about?”

“How your house is like a museum?”

He laughed, “Before that.”

“Right! Er…” she flushed, “I don’t remember?”

“Well,” he shifted in his seat, “You’re not pregnant?”

“This again? No!” she laughed.

“You’re sure?” He leaned toward her, staring her directly in the eye.

“Yes.”

“How can you be sure?” He ran his fingers through his hair.

She lifted her eyebrows, “Do you really want me to answer that?”

He sat back, and his face reddened, “No.”

“Well, now that that’s settled,” she leaned back into the couch.

Suddenly, James turned to her, puzzled. He looked directly into her eyes, “Why didn’t you say ‘yes’?” She looked at him in confusion, “That day.”

Her eyes widened, and she was angry. “Why did you ask?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Maybe to have some decency after you had tortured my best friend!”

“Best friend? Best friend? Is that what you call a friend? Someone who thinks you’re scum?”

“HE DIDN’T THINK THAT!” she screamed. The ice, which had slowly started to melt while she was with him, froze over again tenfold.

He was close to her now, mere centimeters from her face, whispering harshly, “Then why did he say it?”

She didn’t answer. She couldn’t answer. So she responded they way she had learned the past year.

She kissed him. Hard. Passionate. Angry, fiery, desperate, sad. She kissed him with everything she had, and he kissed her back with just as much enthusiasm. Their hands roamed each other, the way they always did. Feeling, searching, wanting more. Hair, back, hips, chest, stomach. Soon, his were on her bum, and then just below it, pulling up gently. She took his cue, and jumped up, with his help, wrapping her legs around his waist.

She could feel it already, the emptiness was evacuating. As he walked them somewhere Lily could only guess at, the inclining of a wholeness she had felt once before began to fill her. She was desperate for it, and she knew he could provide it. And so, as he laid her on a bed she could only assume was his, she let him.

She pulled his shirt off; hers had already been lost in the shuffle. She laughed gently at his crooked glasses, and smiling sweetly, seriously at him, reached up, slid them off, and set them on the nightstand.




It was longer this time. A few moments of the same strange, awkward pleasure that had made her feel so complete, and then left her so completely fragmented. She was whole, for those few moments, a person reminiscent of the one she had been before, only better. Much, much better. And then, he rolled away from her, and she was empty once again.

She rolled on to her side, facing away from James. She swallowed, and a few tears leaked from her eyes. James rolled over and wrapped an arm around her waist. He smelled her hair, deeply inhaling it and lightly kissed her shoulder. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered.

It was more than Lily could take. She jumped out of his bed, and began searching frantically for her clothes. She found her knickers and put them on. “What are you doing?”

“I have to go.” She choked out. She found her bra and began to put it on.

James stood up, and wrapped his arms around her. “No you don’t,” he breathed into her ear.

She wiggled out of his arms and turned to face him. He had bothered to put his glasses on, but nothing else, and she was taken slightly aback by his very naked body. “I really, I have to go.”

“Why?”

“I just, I- I, I just do.”

“Stay.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes you can!” he was desperate now, pleading with her. “Please, Lily,” He was holding her hands, and staring her in the eyes, “please, just stay.”

“Okay,” she conceded. He led her back to his bed. He lay on his back, she on her side with her head just above his shoulder. “I’m lonely.” She whispered, needing it to be out there, but hoping he wouldn’t hear.

“Don’t be.” He whispered back. He took the hand she had on his chest, and threaded his fingers through hers. Gently, he placed a kiss on her head. “I’m right here.”



It was consuming her again, the ice. She was withdrawn, and even though she was surrounded by her family, she felt alone. They had begun to notice it. Her parents continually asked her if something was bothering her. She continually put on a smile and lied through her teeth. It wasn’t as if she could tell them what was bothering her, they’d never understand

She wanted to see James again. He made the world seem a little less lonely; he made the ice thaw. She felt better when she was with him, however, she could not bring herself to say so. Writing to him was absolutely out of the question. There was no way she could ask to talk to him, or to see him, or, or, or, anything. Instead, she resigned herself to silent misery.

When he wrote to her again, a few weeks later, she no longer knew what to think. The letter had said he wanted to get together again. The first time that happened, it had been caring. But now, she didn’t know if he cared about her, or if he cared about getting her into bed.

She weighed the decision before she responded. Either she could maintain her integrity, and her misery; or she could sacrifice it for a period of wholeness. At least, less emptiness. In the end, she knew it was never a choice.

Her integrity flew out the window with the owl, telling James she would floo to his house the next day.

He greeted her with a smile in the same museum-like parlor she had entered the first time. Without hesitation, they went upstairs; to what Lily now assumed was James’ private parlor.

“So, how’ve you been?” he asked as they sat down.

She inhaled deeply, “Okay.” She breathed out, “How about you?”

“I’m fine, Sirius moved in last week, but that’s beyond the point. I want to talk about you.”

“Oh? Where’s Sirius?”

“Why are you lying to me?”

“I’m not.” Lily was taken slightly aback.

“You are. You’re not okay, Lily. I can tell.”

“Who are you to say that, James? I’m fine, and I think I would know that more than you.” At this point, Lily was lying through her teeth, and she knew it. What she didn’t know was why she was doing it. She had been pining for someone to talk to about her feelings, and now someone was asking, someone who knew the situation, and she wasn’t talking.

“You don’t smile as much as you used to, and you hardly talk anymore, and you’re just,” he paused, “distant.”

Ignoring the fact that he was describing her perfectly, “How would you know? You’ve seen me once this summer.”

“And you were straight-faced, quiet and distant,” he huffed, and ran his fingers through his hair, “Lily, don’t you get it?” He stood up and moved toward the windows, “I’m not-“ he turned to face her again, “I’m not in this just for the sex.”

“Fine,” she stood up too, but kept a safe distance from him, “You’re right. I’m not okay. I feel alone. All the time. Even when I’m surrounded by people. And there’s this, this, this pit, inside of me, and it’s massive, and it’s consuming me. And there’s no one I can talk to!” She turned away from him, “And I miss Sev, and I miss my sister.”

He enveloped her in a hug from the side, and not knowing what else to do, she cooperated. Her arms slid around his waist, and he gently pressed her head into his shoulder. “You can always talk to me,” he whispered.

She smiled, “Thanks.”



It was happening again. She could feel herself pulling away from her family, and she didn’t like it. It was as if time with James could fill her up, melt the ice, just enough for her to act, and feel normal for a week or two. And then it would happen again. The ice would freeze, and the pit would be deeper than before.

She knew it was happening. She could not let herself fall into it again. And so, she took matters into her own hands. She took a quill, and although she had sworn not to, she wrote to James.

Potter,

I’m home alone this weekend. Come over?

Lily


Of course he said yes. What else was there for him to say? There was no way he could say no, not after promising her she could always talk to him. Talk to him. But Lily didn’t want to talk to him. Not this time.

She waited for him in front of her fireplace. Five minutes late, he showed up. She rose from her seat on the sofa. He stepped out of the grate. Immediately she planted her lips on his.

“No talking?”

“Nope.”

He began walking forward, until they stumbled over the couch. The four-legged sofa toppled over, and the two laughed as they crashed to the floor. James rolled off of Lily, and the two laughed together for a few moments. Finally, after calming down and catching their breath, they rolled off of the couch, and James put it back on its legs. Still chuckling, Lily kissed him again softly. As soon as he began to respond, she pulled away, grabbed his hand and dragged him upstairs toward her room.

As soon as they made it to her door, before Lily could even open it, James pressed her against it, and began attacking her mouth. As his hands roamed her body, hers searched for the doorknob. She found it, turned it, and the two stumbled through the door. James skillfully turned them around, and pressed her against the other side of the door. His mouth moved to her neck. “James,” she moaned, before grabbing his chin, and moving his mouth back to hers.

Inspired by him, she moved her mouth to his neck, and began sucking, kissing, and occasionally biting softly. She was suddenly very aware of why he was so fond of doing this to her. He groaned her name, and she felt the vibrations through her mouth and it excited her all the more. Her hands moved up his shirt, and began to trace the outline of his muscles. She moved back to his mouth, and smirking, she pushed him backward, guiding him toward her bed.

He sat, and Lily crawled on top of him. She removed his shirt, and began to kiss his vaguely sculpted chest. She pushed him down, straddling his hips, and still tracing his chest. His hands moved to her hips, and slid under her shirt. He tugged up on the hem of her t-shirt, and she helped him pull it off. He grinned, and flipped them over, lying on top of her. She slipped his glass off as his hands moved across her chest.

Their remaining clothing was removed, though Lily was somewhat unsure how. Her hands were threaded in his hair as his mouth devoured every bit of her. Mouth, neck, breasts. She groaned. His calloused hands were surrounding her nether regions, delightfully pleasing. He was causing so many sensations, and so much pleasure; she wasn’t sure what to concentrate on. Rather than frustrating herself, she rolled her head back, closed her eyes, and allowed herself to simply feel.

After many, many agonizingly pleasurable moments, she felt what she had been anticipating. He went slowly this time. Moving, and building something inside of her. She begged for him to go faster, but he would not oblige her. Instead, he continued his slow and steady rhythm. She felt something swelling inside; she was positive he could tell. Steadily, he began to move faster. She matched his movements. Together, they moved faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. The growing thing inside of her exploded, making her feel unimaginable things. It was ecstasy. Pure ecstasy.



“Hey, Lily?” they were lying on her bed, his arm wrapped around her, her head on his chest. She answered him with a small sound. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” she strained her neck to look up at him.

“Promise you’ll answer?” he looked down at her.

“Yeah.”

“Promise you’ll tell the truth?” He peered into her emerald eyes. She wasn’t sure how clearly he could see her without his glasses on.

“Yeah.”

He took a deep breath, “Why don’t you want anyone to know?”

She rolled off of him, and stared at the ceiling. She inhaled, and then exhaled deeply. He rolled over, and looked down at her. “Was it Snape?”

She turned her head, and took another deep breath. “Yeah.”

“But now, he’s out of your life, right?”

“Yeah.”

“So, can we make this official?”

Another deep breath. She looked back at him. “I-I, I don’t know.”

He rolled back onto his back, obviously angry. “So, that’s a ‘no’ then.”

“James,” she rolled over, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t.”

She situated herself on top of him, and began lightly kissing his face. “Forgive me?” She worked her way from his forehead to his jaw, his cheek. He moved his head as she aimed for his mouth, and she kissed the corner of it. “Please?”

He turned his face back to her, and allowed her to kiss him softly. “Fine,” he resigned.

“Good,” they kissed for a while, and then settled back into their positions.

“You know what I just realized?”

“That I’m amazing?” They were looking at each other again.

“No,” he chuckled, “I already knew that. But we’re at your house.”

“Good one, Sherlock.”

“What?”

“Nevermind. Continue.” She smiled.

“You can’t leave.”

She laughed, “No,” she kissed him on the jaw. “I don’t want to.”


AN: Well, there you have chapter three. I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave a review. I'd love to hear what you think!
Sunny



Chapter 4: Sixth Year, Part One
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It rained. It sprinkled on the platform, showered on the train, and by the time they reached Hogwarts, it was pouring. Lily loved it. She sat in her compartment, staring out the window, happily oblivious to the conversation her roommates were having. When James briefly joined them, she was nonchalantly vicious, and during the sorting, her eyes continually drifted upward. Lily had always loved the Great Hall best when it rained.

After the feast, Lily snuck away from the pack of students headed toward their dorms. She crept through the door and braced herself against the chill. The storm was violent, and she welcomed the pelting drops, whistling wind, and occasional burst of lightning. She took a seat on the soaking grass, pulling her legs to her chest. She tilted her head back, and allowed the droplets to soak her face.

It wasn’t long before she felt a presence beside her. She didn’t even need to look to know who it was.

“You’ll catch your death out here!” he yelled above the storm. Thunder crashed. She ignored him, closed her eyes, and looked away. He sat down next to her, and lowered his voice slightly, so that it was just below a yell, “What are you doing out here?”

“Thinking.” She replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Lightning flashed above them.

She thought he heard him chuckle, “About what?”

“Nothing.” She replied simply. She turned her head to smile at him. Thunder rolled.

“You’re thinking about nothing?” He smirked back at her. She wasn’t sure how well he could see her; his glasses were streaked with water. “Some how, I don’t believe that.”

“It’s the truth.”

A flash of lightning lit up his features. He was soaked through the bone already. His hair was matted to his head, lying flat for once, his glasses were still streaked, his robes were clinging to his body. A stray droplet rolled down his chin, following his neck until it disappeared under his collar. Another landed on his forehead, and managed to race down his nose, splashing onto his lips.

“Kiss me.”

“People can see.” He half warned, half mocked her.

“Who?” The loud clap of thunder startled her, and brought her closer to him.

“Anyone.” Their faces were inching closer together.

“Who’s watching?” They were whispering now, and they had to strain to hear above the pounding rain. Their noses were brushing against each other.

“No one.” Her lips finally met his as he conceded, and the two kissed slowly. They lightly sucked the water off of each other’s lips, their tongues danced in the now familiar caverns of each other’s mouths. Occasionally, they lapped up a stray drop. One of his hands was holding him up; the other was threaded through her wet locks, pulling her closer. Both of her hands cupped his face.

Lightning flashed. Thunder cracked.




“Right then, I think you’ve got it!” Lily beamed proudly at the third year boy she was tutoring.

“Thanks, Lily!” He wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug.

She rolled her eyes at the angry grunt that sounded behind them. Of course James would be jealous of a thirteen-year-old. Why else would he and Remus choose the table right behind her? The hairs on the back of her neck didn’t lie. He wasn’t studying.

She chose to ignore James, and released the boy. “Sure thing, Garrett. Do you need anything else?”

“No, that’s it.” She helped him pack his things, and he gave her another hug before leaving.

She sat contentedly for a moment, then began to pack her own things. It never ceased to amaze her how much space her things took. No matter how few, or small the things were, they would end up spread over the entire space available. She wondered vaguely how a quill she had just used could end up across the table. She moved to get it as the two remaining marauders burst into the library.

“Moony! Prongs! Look what we just found!” Peter Pettigrew cried as he and Sirius Black rushed past her and to their friends.

“Quiet, Wormtail!” Black snapped at him. Lily chuckled to herself. She heard something soft land on the table.

“WOAH. Are those-“

“Knickers!” Peter squealed.

She froze. Oh. Dear. Merlin. They weren’t. They couldn’t be. They hadn’t even come off! Had they? She couldn’t remember.

“Where did you find them?” She heard James ask curiously. She hoped he was acting.

“In an empty classroom.”

Oh shit. They couldn’t be. That was months ago. She chanced a glance over. Didn’t Filch clean?!

“Can you believe it?!”

Her face reddened. She quickly packed her remaining things. At least they didn’t know they were hers.

“I mean what kind of slag drops her knickers in a classroom?

She left the library as inconspicuously as possible, and broke into a run as soon as she cleared the door. She let her feet carry her; her mind was oblivious to anything but those boys and her knickers. She ran until her legs would no longer support her. Then, she sank against a wall, gasping for breath. For a few moments, she simply sat there, catching her breath, trying to forget. It wasn’t long before she was joined on the ground.

“Goodness, Potter. What are you, stalking me now?”

“Partially.” She chuckled briefly. “What are you doing?”

“Trying to recover, lest I die of humiliation.”

He was silent for a minute, and then responded positively. “Well, look on the bright side. At least Filch didn’t find them.” Her mind was suddenly filled with images of the caretaker doing filthy things with her panties. She was disgusted.

“That really, really, did not help.” Her mind transferred from Filch doing filthy things, to Peter doing filthy things. She wasn’t entirely sure which was worse. “Ack. Does Peter still have them?"

"Are you kidding? I knicked them as soon as he wasn’t looking.” She chuckled. “He’s incredibly disappointed. Do you want them back?”

She scrunched her face, “Not really.”

“Excellent!” His entire face lit up. “I’m keeping them.” She blushed, and he laughed at her. “So, Evans, do I get a reward?”

“You get to keep my knickers.” She flashed him an obviously fake smile.

“Yeah, but that’s not what I want…” he whined.

“Don’t be greedy,” she teased.

“Oh, come on, Evans! All I want’s a kiss!”

She pretended to think it over. “Nah, I don’t think I can do that.” She got up, and began to walk away.

“Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaase?” he pouted, following her up.

She turned to face him, laughing. “Fine.” He broke into a grin before she planted a chaste peck on his lips.

She began walking away from him again, “Hey!” he yelled after her.

She turned around, trying and failing to hide her grin. “I’m sorry, is that not what you meant?”

“Not exactly.” He caught up to her.

“Maybe you should show me, then.” She whispered, looking up at him.

“Well, Evans,” he smiled, “It starts like this…” She laughed as he kissed her, all thoughts of creepy men and knickers thrown out the window.




“POTTER!” She was fuming. She had just passed Garrett Smith on his way to the Hospital Wing. His arms were now miniscule.

He stopped in his path and turned around. “Alright, Evans?” He smirked at her.

Her eyes narrowed. “You shrank his arms?!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He kept a completely straight face.

“Oh you know damn well what I’m talking about! He’s thirteen!” She took a step closer to him, and pointed at his chest.

“He’s got the hots for you!”

“He’s thirteen!”

“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you!”

“So what if he does?!”

“He needs to know his place!”

“His place!? His place?! Where is that, Potter? Below you? Near anything that you want? It’s not your place to decide that! Honestly. Grow. Up.” She poked him in the chest with each of the last two words. Then she turned on her heel, and walked away from him, and the crowd that surrounded them.

She smirked to herself. She could feel her blood pumping, her flushed face, pounding heart. Her hair bounced around her shoulders with the beat of her steps. The stale air cooled her as she cut through it. Lily Evans never felt more alive than when she was fighting with James Potter. Never was she so attuned to her coursing blood. Never more familiar with the quick rhythm of her heart. Never could she simply feel so much. Quick footsteps from behind snapped her out of her reverie. She was pushed into an empty classroom, and grinned.

Well, almost never.




Their relationship, for lack of a better term, continued much the same as it had. Although now, they rarely stopped at simply snogging. Rather, they pressed onward, onward, onward, until Lily would slip the glasses off of his face, and the two would start on another pleasurable adventure. However, since the first time, and the ‘knickers incident’ Lily adamantly demanded a bed.

It added a difficult dynamic to the game they both enjoyed so dearly. Now, rather than simply being alone, they needed to be alone in a bedroom. And since James had yet to discover a way up the girls’ stairwell, they needed to be alone in his bedroom. For anybody else, this would not have been nearly as difficult, but the marauders were a brotherhood. They were rarely apart from one another. James had had a difficult enough time sneaking around them to snog her. It was nearly impossible to sneak her into their room, and to keep them out of it. Nearly.

But, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Lily and James’ will was great. So they found ways. They created diversions, and made up errands, and -though James felt horrible about it - told lies.




“Why don’t you just go to hell and leave me alone!”

“Why don’t you loosen up?”

The crowd in the common room had dispersed. Many had sought sanctuary outside of the tower. Some had gone to their dorms. Others had purposefully diverted their attention to anything but them. Nobody noticed that when Lily stormed away, she stormed up the boys’ staircase. Nobody noticed that when James went off to sulk, he was trying his hardest not to smile.

Lily waited for him just beyond the entrance to his dorm. She smirked when he entered, “I thought you’d never come…”

“And miss this?” he grabbed her by the hips. “Never.”

Their lips met, and the two wasted no time. James immediately removed her jumper, and started on her tie. Because James had removed these two items prior to their meeting, Lily went straight to work on his buttons. He guided them to his bed, continuing his work undressing her. She slid his shirt off, and tugged on the wife-beater he was wearing. Frustrated, he ripped open her blouse.

The two crashed onto his bed, kissing frantically. Lily let her hands roam his chest, before moving to his belt. His hands were everywhere, continually moving, leaving tingling sensations as they travelled. Lily unbuttoned his trousers, and struggled with them. James broke away from her, and removed them himself. As he straddled her, Lily reached up, and removed his glasses. James closed the curtains surrounding them.

Afterward, the two lay in his bed, on their sides facing each other. They held hands, and played with each other’s fingers. Lily stared into his eyes, and he stared right back, though she wondered if he could see her without his glasses. On a whim, James began to shower her face with kisses. She scrunched her face and laughed. He moved to her mouth, and kissed her briefly, but seriously. He stared at her for a few more seconds.

“You know, Lily Evans,” He tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, “you are a beautiful person.”

“Can you even see me?” she chuckled.

“Hardly.” He too chuckled, she looked away, “But that’s not what I meant.”

She looked back up at him, kissed him.




Strangely enough, while at school, Lily found herself healing. Her roommates, were true, if not close friends, and however annoying Lily found them, they cared for her. The loneliness that was magnified by the loss of her best friend began to dissipate. Though she still missed him on occasion, she no longer pined for him.

Her constant proximity to James was another factor. They had nearly every class together, and his antics in them often had her cracking up. Their arguments made her fiery. Their escapades made her feel more whole than she ever had before. Everything about him wound her up. He brought out the best in her, whether he was arguing with her, or kissing her, or making her laugh, or laughing at her. Everything he did made her better. Intentionally or not.




They were lying next to each other, both of them panting. James reached over, and threaded his fingers though hers. She smiled at the gesture but the two continued staring at his canopy, attempting to catch their breath.

After a few moments, James rolled over, retrieved his glasses and flipped the radio on. The tail end of a generic rock song surrounded them. Lily moved to snuggle into James. A new song rolled into the final notes of the previous one. She lay in the crook of his arm, her head resting on he chest. She began to trace outlines onto his stomach. Circles, flowers, stars, smiles. The song ended, and the DJ announced another generic love song, by a whiny witch.

Lily burst up, startling James. “I love this song!”

He chuckled, “Seriously?”

“Yes!”

She began to sing along. Loudly, and very off-key. She danced along to the tempo, and sang into an imaginary microphone. She exaggerated the words, and occasionally matched her movements to them, wagging her finger on “no,” and clutching her chest on “heart.”

James could not contain his laughter. He tossed his head back as she started singing obviously to him. She pointed at him as she sang “yyyyyyyoooooooooouuuuuuuuuu!” and the song ended. In a fit of laughter, she collapsed on his chest. She rolled off of him, but it was several moments before either of them could calm themselves.

“So,” he gasped, “You like that song?”

“Yeah!” she suppressed another round of giggles, “Almost as much as I hate her…” James raised his eyebrows at her. “Oh, she’s bloody annoying! So’s that song, it’s just so damn catchy!”

“It’s so bad it’s good?”

“Only after the first fifty times you hear it.”

“What on earth would possess you to listen to that song fifty times?!”

“My roommates.”

He nodded knowingly, and the two fell into a comfortable silence. After a few moments, James started laughing again.

“What’s so funny, mister?” Lily inquired.

“My heart belongs to yyyyyyoooooooouuuuuu!” he sang.

Lily nearly fell off the bed laughing.




Lily sat in the library, working on a particularly difficult transfiguration essay McGonagall had assigned. She sat alone, per usual, and had her things spread across the table. James was watching her again. It had become a habit, for him to sit behind her in the library while pretending to do his homework. At first, it had bothered her, but as it became apparent he was not going to change, she learned to ignore it so long as he didn’t disturb her. Occasionally, he attempted to join her, or to engage her in conversation, but she never had any of it.

So, when she suddenly felt a presence in the seat next to her, she assumed it was him. “Look, Po- Oh!” Seeing him up close after so long startled her, “Se-nape. What do you want?” She asked precisely.

“Lily,” He stared her directly in the eye. Lily could feel James’ fury from behind them. “Please, I just want to talk to you.”

“I’ve made my thoughts on this perfectly clear, Severus.” She began to pack her things. She could almost feel James’ vice-like grip on the table.

“Lily, please!” he grabbed her hand, and she pulled away immediately, “I’ll do anything!” James was almost growling behind them.

“You’ve certainly done enough already.” She finished packing her things, and brushed past him to leave.

“Lily!” he cried. He grabbed her arm, and she turned around to see him on his knees. “Please, whatever it takes. Just please, talk to me.”

“Fine,” she looked down at him, and then glanced upward toward James, “How’s this,” she raised her voice slightly, to be certain James could hear, though she knew his attention was entirely focused on them, “If Slytherin beats Gryffindor in the Quidditch match this week, I’ll talk to you.”

She turned on her heel, and left the library before he could respond.




In the days preceding the quidditch match, Lily hardly saw and did not speak to James. Lily assumed the reason for their lack of encounters was either he was furious with her for making such a deal, or- if she chose to hope- he was practicing every spare moment to ensure a victory.

The day of the match dawned bright and early. Lily rose with her roommates, and along with them decked themselves out in Gryffindor colors. Normally, Lily would follow the suit of her roommates, cute and girly, though almost less than spirited. However, for this match, Lily showed her house pride in full force. From head to foot, with the exception of her blue jeans and her face, nearly every inch of her was covered in scarlet and gold.

Together, the girls made their way to breakfast. As they walked in, they passed the marauders. She passed a sly, lingering glance over James. It went unnoticed by all but a single lonely soul sitting across the hall. Lily felt his gaze but ignored it.

She sat with her friends, and ate breakfast while chatting with them aimlessly. Midway through their meal, they were interrupted. “OI! EVANS!” she turned to find James, standing in the aisle between the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw tables. The Hall fell silent. “How ‘bout a kiss for good luck today?”

A chuckling arose, and Lily diverted her eyes briefly to the table. When the laughter had subsided, she looked back and smirked at him, “With that ego, Potter? You don’t need luck.”

There was another collective chuckle before James responded, “Quite true, Evans.” He took a seat next to her, backward, leaning on the table, “So how ‘bout one for fun?”

She pretended to think for a moment, “Nope.”

“Ah, come on, Evans! Just one peck,” he pointed to his cheek, “right there, and I’ll score a goal for you.”

Lily put her hand to her chest in mock flattery, “Just for me?” he nodded earnestly. “You know, I think I can live without one.”

He jumped up from the bench. “Suit yourself, Evans.”




Few other quidditch matches rivaled this one in intensity. The quaffle moved from team to team so frequently even the commentator had trouble keeping track of it. The Gryffindor chasers managed to put it through the hoop seven times. Of those seven, James was responsible for four. Their keeper had managed to block most of the goals thrown at her, letting only four past.

After an hour and fifteen minutes, the seekers caught sight of the snitch. A thousand pairs of eyes shifted to the two racing bodies. Lily alone kept her gaze on James. He had possession of the quaffle and was set to score on the other side of the pitch. In horror, Lily watched as a bludger aimed by the Slytherins connected with his arm. He dropped the quaffle, but managed to stay balanced on his broom. Immediately he dived and caught the quaffle in his other hand. Lily cheered, as the rest of the stadium remained staring at the seekers. Reveling in his personal victory, James hovered at twenty-five feet. He stayed there just long enough for another well-aimed bludger to hit his other arm. Lily felt her eyes grow as he fell through the air.

The thud his body made was overpowered by the roars of the Slytherin crowd as their seeker caught the snitch.




AN: Sorry it took so long, guys. My life got way crazy. This chapter was almost done for like a week, but then I didn't have time to finish it. So, I decided to cut it down so I could post it! Originally, it was meant to be a bit longer, but it's okay like this. :) Enjoy it, and please review! (Especially if you find any mistakes in it... I haven't edited it, and as I was posting it, it the cursor did some weird stuff.)
Love,
Sunny


Chapter 5: Sixth Year, Part Two
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Lily made her way back to the castle, trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. The Gryffindors were angry, and from what she had overheard, losing the match was entirely her fault. Apparently luck was only a joking matter when it wasn’t needed. She was grateful James’ fellow chasers had escorted him off the field before anyone had noticed. Goodness knows that would’ve been her fault too, of course, it would be by tomorrow anyway.

He was fine, she knew, he had walked off the pitch, and yet she couldn’t help but feel worried for him. Two bludgers and a fall wasn’t exactly healthy. As she walked past the Great Hall, she decided a visit to the Hospital Wing was in order.

As she made her way to the stairs, she was pulled into a room she was walking past. She recovered gracefully, she had had a lot of practice, after all, and grinned, thinking it was James. It was not.

“Slytherin won, Lily. Remember our deal?” He didn’t seem arrogant about it at all; rather it seemed he was pleading with her. It was as if he didn’t believe she would come through. She hadn’t been planning on it.

“Right. How could I forget?” her voice dripped with contempt, “You wanted to talk. So I’m going to talk, and you’re going to listen. Got it?” He nodded. She took a breath. “Leave me alone. Don’t talk to me. Don’t try and be my friend again. You’re not. I don’t want to talk to you; I don’t want anything to do with you. And frankly, I’m ashamed that I ever called you a friend. Of course, that wasn’t really you, was it? No, my best friend has disappeared. He’s turned into some awful person that I don’t even recognize.”

His eyes were wide with shock and desperation, “I’m still him, Lily! He’s still here!” He grabbed her hand. She pulled it away immediately.

“Don’t touch me.” his hands fell back to his sides, “Maybe you were him. Maybe the whole time I was so caught up in this new world you were telling me about, I didn’t realize you thought I was scum.”

“I didn’t think you were scum!”

“But you do now? Or is it just everyone like me?”

“It’s not like that.”

“What’s it like then, Sev? You don’t think that, but all of your friends do? I find that hard to believe.”

“I-I” he paused, “I- it’s not” he paused again, “I-“

“Just stop. I’ve told you before; you’ve made your choices. You picked your friends. I’ve picked mine. You’re not one of them.” She turned and began to walk away from him.

“Is Potter one of those friends?” She hesitated, but continued walking. “What, are you one of his little whores now?” she stopped walking. “I expected more of you, Lily.”

She turned around on her toe. “And I expected more of you, Severus.” She took a step toward him. “Looks like we’re both disappointments. As far as Potter goes, I’d rather be his whore,” she paused, her eyes narrowed, “than your friend.” She turned around again and walked away, ignoring his pleas of apology.

She wasn’t angry. She wasn’t sad. She was not storming through the hallways. Her heart wasn’t pounding. Her blood was not coursing through her veins. She was oddly calm, only slightly more than annoyed. At one point, she might’ve been furious. Just last year she very well may have been ready to tear someone’s head off. But at this point, she was beyond caring. In fact, she felt somewhat relieved. She smiled as she walked through the corridors.

She found the common room mostly deserted. A few stragglers were working on homework, but it was a far cry from the normal post-match euphoria. The heartbreak of this loss had affected everyone.

Quietly, she made her way up the stairs and to her dormitory. She found her roommates there, sitting in a circle, having an intense conversation. They hardly noticed when she walked in and began to change her clothes. One shot her a dirty look, another gave her a kind smile.

“He didn’t take anything for the pain?!”

“No, he just let Pomfrey fix his arms, then he left.”

“She just let him leave?”

“Goodness, no! She made Remus swear to keep him in bed, if he refused to stay.”

“So that’s where he is now? In his room? Oh, James! He’s so brave!”

Lily stopped searching for clothes. James. Of course, James. How could he have slipped her mind? She continued ruffling through bits of fabric. He was in his room? Surely the marauders were there taking care of him. But she had to see him. She smiled as she stumbled upon a particular piece of clothing. It was worth a shot.




Sneaking to his room was simple enough. The few people in the common room were too far wrapped up in their homework to pay her any mind. The practice she had acquired at sneaking to his room prevented any attention that may have been gathered at her presence.

She hesitated at his door. What if the marauders were there? Did he want to see her? Was he angry with her? She could change that. She knocked.

“Go away.” His voice was coarse. She walked in anyway.

“You don’t really want me to do that.” He looked up at her. Thankfully, he was alone. She walked to the foot of his bed. He was lying there, still in his full quidditch uniform. “How are you feeling?”

“Shouldn’t you go talk to Snivellus?” He stared directly into her eyes; his gaze was venomous.

She took a breath, “I did already.” He raised his eyebrows. “And he asked if I was one of your whores.” His expression was curious. She could feel a blush sneaking into her cheeks. “And I told him I’d rather be your whore than his friend.”

He broke into a grin, “Did you, really?”

She bit her lip, “I did.”

He sniggered, “Excellent.”

“I thought so.” The two stared at each other.

“I can’t believe you made that deal.” His glare was back.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered timidly.

“Tell that to my two broken arms and twenty-five foot fall.”

She blushed again, “I can make you feel better.”

His eyes widened, “How do you plan to do that?”

She pulled her shirt over her head to reveal the very lacy bra she had found earlier. “I think we can work something out.” His eyes grew larger, and seemed to bulge out his head as she stepped out of her jeans to reveal equally lacy panties. She climbed onto his bed, “Sound good?” He simply nodded.

She straddled his waist, and leaned over to kiss him. She stayed at his mouth only for a moment before moving to his neck. As she trailed down him, she began to remove his uniform. He maneuvered as best he could to help her. The inklings of bruises were splashed across his chest. She kissed each of them tenderly.

Before she started removing his trousers, she moved back up to kiss him again. His hands roamed her. He pulled the strap of her bra down her shoulder and moved slowly down her body. Without breaking their kiss, she undid the fastening on his trousers and began to pull them down. He found her knickers and followed her suit. She sat up, and removed the two offending articles of clothing. She kissed him once again, before sitting up and lowering herself on to him.

His hands rested on her hips as she moved. Their eyes were locked onto each other. Lily was acutely aware of him taking in every detail of her through his glasses. The thought made her nervous, but he was smiling at her and she was smiling back and everything was perfect.




“Lily…” he turned his head to look at her lying next to him, “that was incredible.”

She blushed. “Good.”

He turned his head back to stare at the ceiling. His mouth remained open, panting for breath, and turned upward. “Really,” he breathed. She was pressing light kisses against his jaw line, “do you know how unbelievably sexy you are?”

“Yes.” She pressed a kiss onto his cheek, “but feel free to remind me.”

He turned back to her, “You are unbelievably sexy.”

She blushed and kissed him on the mouth.



She could feel his eyes on her. He was boring holes into the side of her head. His gaze was intense and violent. Icy cold, it gave her goose bumps, and sent uncomfortable shivers down her spine.

She didn’t like it.

She wasn’t sure why he was doing it. She had made her feelings perfectly clear. She didn’t want to be any where near him. And yet, there he was. Staring at her from behind a bookshelf. Perhaps he was seeing how honest he was. Calling her bluff. Well, in that case.

“Hey, Potter?” She got up from her chair, and turned to the table behind her.

“Yeah, Evans?” He looked at her curiously. She was leaning over his table and smiling flirtatiously.

“Could you help me with this transfiguration essay? I don’t quite understand it.” She tossed her hair over her shoulder.

He leaned back in his chair, head leaning against his hands. “Of course I can.”

“Excellent.” She turned her chair and grabbed her essay.

She sat across from him as he read over the paper. She leaned toward him, until she heard the library dorm slam and the librarian dock points from Slytherin. She plucked the essay from James’ hands. “Thank you, Potter.” She turned back to her table.

“I wasn’t done reading it!” He exclaimed.

“You don’t need to.” She didn’t look back at him.

“Then why’d you ask?”

“No reason.” She was blushing, and infinitely glad she was not facing him.

“Well, at least let me finish reading it!” He got up, and was now standing next to her. He snatched it up from where she had set it.

“There’s really no need for that, Potter.” She glanced up at him, “It’s perfect,” she realized saying ‘no’ would be pointless, “but if you must…”

He scanned the page. “There’s a mistake right here.”

“What?” she snapped, and grabbed the paper away from him. “Where?”

“There,” He smirked, “You forgot a coma.”

She glared at him, “Oh that’s funny.”




Lily was sprawled out over James’ bed. James was next to her, nearly falling off. “Lily!” he groaned.

“What?” she asked pleasantly. He rolled over so he was lying on top of her. Both of them were still basking in the afterglow of their sex.

“How can you take up so much space?”

She mocked offense, “Are you calling me fat?”

“No.” He laughed and kissed her forehead. “I’m wondering how someone so ridiculously tiny could possibly take up an entire bed!”

“Hey! I don’t take up the entire bed!” He raised his eyebrows. “You get in the way.”

“Are you calling me fat?”

She laughed. “Definitely.” His jaw dropped. She pulled him to her, and continued to laugh as she kissed him.




It was colder now, and snow was beginning to fall around Hogwarts. It was late this year, it hadn’t started at all until December. Usually by now they’d have several inches, at least.

This upset Lily. She loved the winter. The crisp air as she walked outside, the sparkling branches, the pristine glory of the ground covered in snow. It all made her smile.

She had been outside, playing like children with her roommates. After they had lost feeling in their fingers, toes, and noses, they had decided to come back inside. Lily’s cheeks were flushed beautifully, several snowflakes had refused to melt in her hair, and they stood there sparkling like jewels. She was smiling, and giggling with her friends, still reeling from the excitement outside.

“Hey, Evans!” He hollered to her as she walked into the common room.

“What do you want, Potter?” She asked as sharply as she could. The smile she was wearing would simply not leave.

“You, of course.” He responded. The girls around her giggled wildly. He winked at one of them.

She was still smiling, “Not a chance, Potter.”




“I don’t understand you, Lily.” She sat at the head of his bed, facing him. He was at the foot, facing her.

“What’s not to understand?”

“Why don’t you want to be with me?” He was looking at her intensely.

“I do. I’m with you right now.”

“Publicly.”

“Well, that’s considered unacceptable in most polite company.” She smiled to herself.

She could tell he was fighting back a smile. “Lily,” he said sternly.

“I’m sorry, James.” She was upon her knees now, pleading with him with her eyes.

“I understood at first.” He wasn’t looking at her. “You hated me. Your best friend hated me. That makes sense.” He turned to her. “But now, now you’re not friends with him. And you don’t hate me,” He was pleading back, for entirely different reasons, “do you?”

“No!” she exclaimed, “Of course I don’t.” she grabbed his hands, “I just,” she moved closer to him, “I just like being with you, without having to deal with all the stigma.”

“What stigma?” He spat.

“James. You know. We could never be together without causing a gigantic stir.”

“Whatever.” He looked away.

“James,” she turned his face to her, “It’s almost break. Can we please not fight?” Her nose was brushing his. “Please?” Her lips brushed his.

“Merlin.” He sighed, “I just can’t say ‘no’ to you.”




Lily lay on her side, facing away from James. He was on his back, trying to regain his breath. He rolled onto his side, outlining her body with his. He kissed her lightly on the cheek. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” she whispered quietly. He wrapped his arms around her waist, and pulled her flush to him.

“Lily,” he whispered into her ear, “we shouldn’t keep secrets from each other.”

“I’m not keeping a secret.” She craned her neck to look into his face.

He pressed their noses together, “We shouldn’t lie to each other either.”

“I’m not lying.” She moved her head back away from him.

“Then what’s bothering you?”

“Nothing!” she said, finally indignant.

“Lily,” he brushed her hair back. “I know something’s bugging you, what is it? Please, let me in.”

“Okay.” She rolled onto her back. His arms were still encircling her. “It’s just, I-I” she looked away for a moment, but turned back, “do you think I’m a whore?”

He laughed. “No.”

Her face relaxed with relief. “Really?”

“Of course I don’t think that.” She smiled slightly, “There’s no way you’re a whore. You’re a sweet, gentle, caring, funny, beautiful, amazing person, who happens to be shagging the hottest guy in the school.” She hit him playfully, “Hey! Do not hit the stud.”

“Where’s he?”

“Oh, you know where. Say it.”

“Say what?” she asked perfectly innocently.

“’James you are a stud.’”

She thought for a moment, “But you said not to lie!” He morphed his face in mock anger, and began tickling her mercilessly. “Stop!” she yelled.

“Say it!” he commanded.

“Okay!” he continued tickling her. “James Potter, you are a stud.” He stopped, but kept his hands poised.

“And you’re the sexiest beast to ever walk the earth.” He added.

“And you’re the sexiest beast to ever walk the earth.”

“And you have a huge-“

James!

He began tickling her again. “Fine! Fine! And you have a huge,” he stopped, “Ego.”




She sat in the shower, knees pulled up to her chest, allowing the cold water to consume her. It had been hot a while ago, scalding her skin bright pink. Now, it was freezing. Her skin was covered in goose bumps and she was shivering slightly. The icy droplets pooled on her blond eyelashes, blurring her vision and falling like tears when she blinked. She was glad it felt like crying at least, when her own tears would not fall.

She wasn’t sure exactly when she realized the problem. She supposed the knowledge had been there for a while. Hiding beneath tests, homework, friends and clandestine meetings with her lover, perhaps. Maybe, she was just ignoring it. But now, here it was, glaring at her, waving a giant red sign and screaming at the top of its lungs. She could no longer bury it, or ignore it. It was here, and it demanded attention.

He needed to know. And for that to happen, she had to tell him. He wouldn’t just miraculously find out. There was no other way for him to know. She could wait it out, maybe, until she knew for sure. Or until it was out, waving it’s sign and screaming at everybody. No, that wouldn’t do. It would take weeks for that, at least. She needed to know now. He could help with that.

He was a very helpful person, that James Potter. Resourceful, anyway. He would know what to do. Or he would figure it out. He always did. Especially when it came to her. It was amazing, really, how he could read her so easily. How he could say the perfect thing at the perfect time to make her laugh, or to comfort her. How he could know exactly what it was she wanted him to do. And better yet, he knew exactly what it was she needed, even if she didn’t.

Yes, she definitely needed to tell him. She would need his help with this; sooner rather than later.

“Lily?” A tentative knock sounded. She recognized the voice as Ella, the sweetest of her roommates. “Are you okay in there?”

“Yeah,” her voice was somewhat hoarse, “I’m fine, I’ll be out in a minute.” She turned off the water and pulled herself to her feet. She wrapped a towel around herself and walked into her room.

It was late. Tomorrow she would deal with this problem. Tomorrow she would tell him. Right now, she would sleep.




Lily didn’t know how to talk to him. She had barely decided she needed to tell him; she hadn’t put any thought into how. The direct approach would probably be her best bet. Honesty was the best policy after all. How could she formulate those words? They were completely foreign to her. She did not dwell on it. The words would come, even if she wasn’t sure how. One thing, she was sure of. Getting him alone would be easy. She was very practiced, after all.

“POTTER!” she stormed toward him in the common room.

“Alright, Evans?” he was leaning back in his chair, cocky as ever. His friends were surrounding him.

“I most certainly am not alright!” she screeched. She stared directly into his eyes.

“Well, I’m sure that’s something I can help you with.” He smirked. He stared right back at her.

“I can’t believe you.” She spat. Their eyes were still connected. She gazed at him for a moment longer before turning on her toe and storming out of the portrait hole.

She walked slowly through the corridor. After only a few minutes, she heard familiar footsteps behind her. He wasn’t rushing. She passed an empty classroom, and stepped into it. She took a seat on the table. He followed her in almost as soon as she sat down. He immediately walked toward her and pressed his lips to hers.

Thinking quickly, she broke it off before she was swept up. He looked back at her completely confused. “Didn’t you want to see me? Or did I really do something wrong?”

“No, no, I wanted to see you. I-I wanted to talk to you.”

“Talking?” He raised his eyebrows curiously, “This is a new development.”

“No it’s not!” she pushed him playfully. “I talk to you.”

He chuckled, “After.” She blushed and looked away. “So talk.”

She took a deep breath, and didn’t turn back to him. “I-I,” she sighed and ran her hand through her hair. She looked back at him. “I’m late.”

“For what?” He was more confused now than ever. “Shouldn’t you be going?”

“No, James.” She stood up from the table. She took a step closer to him, and looked him straight in the eye. “I’m late.

His eyes widened and his mouth formed a perfect ‘o.’




AN: Yay me! I got this chapter up in less than two weeks! I think anyway, time has been passing strangely for me... Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for the reviews. :) Keep them coming! They really, really make my day. And lately, my days have kind of sucked, so they're like a little light in the darkness. :) I love them. And I love all of you. Please remember that when I tell you this next part. I will more than likely not be able to update for a while. Next week is crazy busy for me, and I know I won't have any time to write anything. Plus I have a bunch of stuff I need to write for my creative writing class... Because school is done in three weeks. Oh my. So yeah, I know. I'm a terrible person for leaving you with this cliffie. I'll try my bestest to write something before schools out! But, I make no promises.

Love, Sunny


Chapter 6: Sixth Year, Part Three
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Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. L

AN: I’d just like to start off by saying thanks for all the reviews! You’re awesome! Second, I’m sorry it’s so late. And finally, there are some of Lily’s thoughts in here that might offend some people. I do not completely agree with these thoughts, nor necessarily does Lily. They are a product of the age, but I’m terribly sorry if I’ve offended you.




“H-how, how late?” He ran his fingers through his hair. He was avoiding eye contact.

“About two and a half weeks.” She bit her lip.

“I-is that a- a lot?” His hand went to his hair again.

She took a deep breath. “It’s enough to be worried.”

He raised his head to meet her gaze. “What are we going to do?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know.”

He was regaining his composure. Hers was rapidly declining. “But, you don’t know for sure yet, right?” She shook her head, “So how do we find out?”

“I don’t know.” She put her head down. He stepped toward her and put his hands on her arms. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, Lily. It’ll be okay.” He rubbed her arms soothingly. She placed her forehead on his chest. “It can’t be that hard can it? A spell or a potion or… something?”

“I don’t know!” She got up from the table, and moved away from him. “I don’t know any of this and I can’t ask anyone! There are no books or anything!” She stood up and began pacing. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Hey,” He moved toward her again. He placed his hands on her shoulders. “Just calm down.” He pulled her into a hug, and thought for a moment, “Do you know any muggle ways?”

“Yeah,” she breathed, “but I don’t see how that’ll help.”

“I—I can get you into Hogsmeade, and Remus can apparate-“

“I can apparate.” She looked up at him. “Remus can’t know.”

“Of course. Then you can apparate to a muggle town, and we can find out.” She nodded, “And we can deal with the rest when we get there.”




A plan was set. They would leave on Saturday, as not to miss any classes. That left Lily with three excruciating days to think.

She was going to have a baby. A baby. A needy, crying, baby. There was a tiny little piece of her and James growing inside of her. It was a bizarre notion. How was she supposed to take care of it? She would have to drop out of school. How could she find a job if she had to drop out of school? How could she make enough money to care for a baby if she did find a job?

She couldn’t expect her parents to support her. Her parents would never support a teenage pregnancy. Or one out of wedlock.

Dear Merlin, she was going to have to marry James.

Her parents would force them. She needed him anyway. He could find a job; support them. He could take care of them.

She couldn’t marry James. She just couldn’t. She didn’t even like him. Not that much anyway. He was immature and mean, and, and, and she just couldn’t marry him. But surely, she would have to. There was no other option.

Well, at least the sex would be good. And he could always make her laugh. He was generally fun, when he wasn’t being a git. He could be responsible when he wanted. He-he would be a good father. He had to be. Because this little piece of him growing inside of her was perfect and innocent and deserved to have two parents who loved it and would take good care of it. She loved it already, and she wasn’t even sure it was there. He would love it too. Right?

Maybe.

Yes, definitely.

He had to.

He would.




They met on the fourth floor. Lily was completely unsure of how this would get them anywhere or help them at all, but she was positive that James knew, and she trusted him.

She arrived before he did. She sat in the empty classroom they had designated, their favorite for interludes, twiddling her thumbs, anxiously waiting for him. She was in the right room, right? Had he forgotten?

He arrived shortly after. She sighed in relief as he approached her. “Are you ready to go?” he breathed. She nodded. “Okay then, let’s go.”

She followed him to the door, but he blocked the path before she went through. “What are you-“ he had pulled out a piece of parchment, and muttered something Lily didn’t catch.

“Just be patient, Lil.” He scolded her. He maintained his gaze on the parchment, but blocked her view of it. After a moment, he moved, and motioned for her to follow him.

They walked down the corridor a ways, until they came to a mirror. James stopped, and Lily nearly ran into him. James somehow managed to open the mirror to reveal a corridor behind it.

Lily gasped, and James motioned for her to enter. She slipped in; he followed her. The mirror closed behind them. “Where are we going?” she whispered.

She couldn’t see him in the dark, but she swore he was smirking, “Hogsmeade, of course.”

“How?” He lit his wand, and Lily found that he was indeed smirking.

He began walking; Lily followed him. “Secret passage way.” She stood in confusion for a moment before James realized she was no longer following him and turned around. He faced her, “Come on!”

She jogged to catch up with him, and the two walked down the dark corridor together.




“Where do we need to go?”

“A muggle town, I guess.” Lily answered him. The two had arrived in Hogsmeade without incident, and were now standing outside of the passage, avoiding crowds and people who may have recognized them.

“You did say you could apparate, right?”

“Yes. My birthday’s in January. I’m legal.”

He laughed, “Well, I’m not. So, I’m going to have to side along.”

“Okay.” She nodded. “Ready?” He nodded and stepped toward her. He grabbed tightly onto her arm.

“All set.”

“Well, here we go, then.” She turned on her heel, and with a loud crack, the two disappeared and landed in a muggle town the Evans family had visited once on holiday. Lily figured that no one would recognize her there, and it wasn’t too far from Hogwarts, anyway.

“Now where are we going?” James asked after they had recovered.

She thought for a moment, “A pharmacy, I guess.” James looked confused. “It’s this way, I think, just come on.”

She led the way, stopping only briefly to admire a pretty necklace in a shop window. They arrived at the pharmacy, and Lily slipped inside. James offered to accompany her, but fearing his mischievous nature in a shop full of unfamiliar things, Lily thought it best to order him to remain outside. “I’ll just be a few minutes. Stay. Here.”

She located the pregnancy tests after an intense and infuriating search. She was seriously debating summoning one as she stumbled across them in a secluded corner. Grudgingly, she grabbed one, and shuffled to the counter. Of course, the only cashier working was a relatively attractive teenage male. She avoided eye contact with him as she slid a few pounds over to him.

“Say,” she glanced up at him, blushing, “do you, um, have a loo I could use?” He pointed toward a door, and she waved in gratitude. She found her way there, and read the directions three times. She used the test, hid it skillfully in her pocket, and made her way out the door to meet James.

He was right where she had left him, waiting patiently for her. When he saw her approaching, he glanced up at her expectantly, cheerfully. She grabbed him by the arm, and pulled him into an alley near the store.

“What’s the news?”

“Don’t know yet. It takes some time.”

“How long?” He was twitching.

She began to pace, and glanced at her watch. “About ten more minutes.”




After ten agonizing minutes of pacing and forced conversation, Lily announced that they could check the results.

She pulled it out of the pocket she had kept it in to avoid staring at it manically, held it in her gaze, but closed her eyes. She tried to pry them open, but she simply could not. This was the moment of truth. Her entire future hung in the balance, determine by the presence or absence of a single blue line. She was going to know if there was something, someone growing inside of her, feeding on her life to create its own. She wanted to know. She needed to know.

But she couldn’t look at it. What if she was pregnant? What would she do? How could she possibly care for the tiny little person she had created?

What if she wasn’t? What if she was just herself, empty as ever? Would the emptiness she had felt over the summer begin to consume her again? She couldn’t handle that. And how could she look at James knowing the bond they had almost, almost, had together.

She couldn’t do it. “I can’t, James, I can’t look at it.” She thrust the test at him, “You do it.” She turned away from him.

“Um… What am I doing?” He was completely confused.

“Reading the test!” she snapped. Immediately she realized that James would not know how to read the test, so she softened, “See the little blue lines in the windows? If there’s only one, then I’m not, if there’s two… well, then we’re in trouble.” She spoke to the wall.

“But, Lily,” his voice was still very confused. “There aren’t any lines on here.”

“What!?!” She snapped fiercely. She whipped around and snatched the test away from James. Without thinking, she looked at it, ready to cry in frustration, when she saw, mercifully, one blue line smiling back at her.

A great weight was removed from her shoulders. She looked up at James, who was grinning wildly at her. “Prick.” She swatted him playfully. She looked down at it again; just to be sure her eyes were not deceiving her. They were not; she began laughing.

One, she thought, had to be the best number ever invented.




The two apparated back to Hogsmeade, and fifteen minutes found them a quarter of the way into the passage back to the castle. They had been merry, on the way back to Hogsmeade, and the first part of the passage, chatting, and occasionally squealing. But the glee from their discovery had faded a tad, and the pair fell into a comfortable silence.

Lily didn’t mind. It left her free to contemplate the glories of the number one. Ah one, one blue line. Marvelous. One huge relief. One grin. One her.

She was one person. Alone. She hadn’t exactly realized that until now. Maybe she had grown accustomed to the thought of sharing her body. She wasn’t.

One was lonely.

James seemed to notice her shift in disposition, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she lied. “Just a little tired.”

He eyed her skeptically, but resigned. “We’re almost back.” He stopped briefly and pulled out the piece of parchment he had had earlier.

“What is that?” she asked him.

“Nothing.” He fiddled through the paper. Lily accepted his statement, and waited patiently for him to decipher whatever he was looking at. “Shit.” He whispered harshly.

“What?” he reached into his cloak and pulled out a bundle of silvery material.

He threw it over her, “Keep this on. No one will be able to see you.”

“What are yo-“

He shushed her, “Just do it! And keep quiet.”

He started walking again, and Lily followed him. They hadn’t taken ten steps when they heard other voices coming down the passage.

“What would he be doing down here without us?” The first voice questioned.

“Don’t have a clue.” A second voice chimed.

“Probably just fancied a walk down in Hogsmeade’s all.” A third added.

“Nah.” The second voice was talking, “He’s definitely up to something.”

“What could it be?” It was the first voice.

“Probably something to do with the bird he’s been shagging all year.” The second voice said.

Lily froze in horror. James’ face seemed to flash in anger, but he continued walking. “Hello, boys.” He spoke when he came into the sight of his three friends, “What are you three doing down here?” They weren’t acknowledging her, so Lily assumed that James had been honest when he said no one could see her.

“We could ask the same of you, Prongs.” The second voice, now identified as Sirius Black, retorted.

“Just fancied a walk down in Hogsmeade’s all.”

“I told you, Padfoot.” The third voice, Remus Lupin, scolded.

“He’s lying. I can see it in his eyes.”

“Nonsense!” James snapped, “Just because I don’t spend all my time with you three…”

“You’re either with us or that secret bird of yours.” Peter finally spoke up.

“What are you talking about?” Lily realized that James was quite a good actor.

“Don’t play dumb, even Remus knows it. And you know he refuses to think ill of anyone.” Apparently, Sirius Black was very upset by the matter. Remus made a sound of objection.

James looked very guilty. “Fine, it’s true.” Lily was horrified.

The other three looked incredibly shocked. “Who is it?!” Peter wanted to know.

“I can’t tell you that.” Lily was slightly more relieved.

“Why not?” Sirius demanded.

“Because, Padfoot, she would kill me if I told you.”

“It’s not like she would ever know!” Peter exclaimed.

Both Sirius, and Remus’ eyes widened in realization. “She’s here!”

Lily took this as her cue to leave.




Lily lay in her bed, on her side, unblinking. She had been there since her return from Hogsmeade. She had deposited the strange material of James’ in his room and come straight here. Her eyes stung, but she didn’t close them. Thankfully, the room was empty. She was alone. Relieved, but lonely.

The door creaked open. She vaguely thought about turning and telling whoever had just come in to please go away, but didn’t have the motivation to open her mouth. There were footsteps; a shift of weight on her bed told her that the intruder was now sitting next to her. She assumed it was Ella, perhaps Mary, or another of her roommates.

“Hey,” it was James. “Alright there?” She nodded. “I thought we talked about this lying thing.”

She sighed, and finally closed her eyes. “It’s nothing.”

He leaned closer to her, “It’s obviously something. Why not just tell me?” she sighed again, “Are you upset about not being pregnant? I thought that was what you wanted?”

“It is.” She shuffled over a bit, and he lay down beside her. “It’s, just… it’s stupid really.”

“It’s not stupid if it’s upsetting you.” He wrapped his upper arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him.

“I’m just lonely, I suppose. I got used to thinking there was another person with me all the time. And I’m glad that there’s not, but I dunno… It’s a little sad too.”

“That’s not stupid, Lily.” He managed to put his lower arm under her head.

“Really?” She held onto the hand resting on her stomach, and snuggled into him.

“Not at all.”




AN: Okay, another one. Sorry it’s so late! There’s a huge festival in my town that I’m very involved in that consumes a great deal of my time, and also school was ending, and I had massive amounts of work to do before I finished. But I am now officially done with high school! Woot!

Anyway, I’m sorry if this chapter sucked. I completely stopped writing it during the festival, and got really out of tune with it. That was a bad idea. But, there should be one last sixth year chapter to go. This one probably should have finished it off, but I feel like this scene needed to be on it’s own.

Please review!
Love, Sunny



Chapter 7: Sixth Year, Part Four
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She woke up alone the next morning. She had no recollection of James leaving, so she assumed he had after she fell asleep. She was eternally grateful for his presence last night, and slightly heartbroken by his absence this morning. She told herself it didn’t matter. Why should it? She didn’t care about him, so what did it matter if he didn’t care about her? Why should he stay? Carefully, she sat up, pulled the curtain around her open, and checked the time.

A small box, and a piece of parchment were blocking the clock. She picked them up, completely disregarding the time, and opened the parchment.

Lily,

You’re going to be okay. We’ll make it through this. Together.

James

P.S. I’m sorry I missed your birthday. Enjoy the gift.


She smiled, and opened the box. The pretty necklace she had looked at in the muggle village gleamed at her. It was silver, and a small glass pendant hung from it. She smiled again, as she clasped it around her neck.

Maybe he did care.

Maybe she did.




The common room was crowded. She wasn’t sure why, there was no celebration, or punishment in place, there was no good reason that everyone should be in the common room. But they were.

It was quite unfortunate really, that they had all picked today to huddle about in the common room. Today, when all Lily wanted to do was see James. Normally, she the congestion wouldn’t have been a problem. All she had to do was find some menial thing that James might have done to annoy her, and they could be alone together in the blink of an eye.

But yelling at him was just not an option today. It just would’ve been wrong. So Lily sat with her girlfriends, chatting idly while James sat across the room, with his friends, doing something boisterous that looked like quite a lot of fun. She looked at him as frequently as she could without rousing suspicion, trying to make eye contact. It proved extremely difficult; as James was very involved in whatever sport the boys were playing.

After twelve daunting minutes, James finally looked back at her. She caught his eye, he smiled infectiously, she glanced at the portrait hole. He seemed to understand, so Lily excused herself from her friends, and made her way to the corridor.

Her feet carried her from memory to the little alcove near Gryffindor tower they had stumbled upon together. She leaned against a wall and waited. It wasn’t long before Lily heard the familiar sound of his rushed footsteps. She wondered vaguely why it was that he would run to meet her at a moments notice, but was nearly always late for planned dates. It was inconsequential. They hardly ever had planned dates, and Lily intended to keep it that way.

He burst into the alcove and had his arms wrapped around her immediately. She stopped him before he kissed her, placing a finger to his lips. “James,” his eyebrows burrowed in confusion. He looked adorable, and Lily couldn’t help but chuckle, “I just wanted to say thank you.”

His eyebrows came closer together; they were nearly one now. He dropped his hands from her hips. “For what? The necklace because that wa-”

She took a breath, shrugged, and cut him off, “For everything.”

He smirked, “It wasn’t a big deal.”

“It was though,” She took a step toward him, and clasped her hands around his neck.

“Nah,” He moved closer to her, and put his hands back on her hips. “But you know what is?” She shook her head, “You’ve met me just to talk twice now.” She chuckled, “What is this madness?!”

She laughed, leaned her head in toward him. “This madness,” she whispered, “is not going to happen again.”

She thought she noticed a flash of genuine disappointment on his face, but it turned comical too quickly for her to really comprehend it. “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwe,” he whined, “Why not?” She smiled at his childlike behavior, “I like talking.”

“I don’t.” She shook her head, and moved closer to him; their noses were pressed against each other. “I like snogging.” She pressed her lips to his. He responded immediately. “Don’t you?” She breathed. She felt his head nod earnestly; he made an enthusiastic sound of agreement. “Well, snogging it is then.”




They ended up in his bed later that day. It had been a challenge, sneaking her up with the common room so full, but the risk had paid off in tenfold as they roamed each other’s bodies with ease, familiarity.

It had been as wonderful as always. Lily didn’t like to talk, but the sounds she had made drove James crazy. He loved every minute of it. She was graceful, fluid in her movements. He was rough, and powerful. Together… well, James couldn’t think of anything more magnificent.

Lily was quiet now. Motionless. He knew she didn’t like to talk, but she hadn’t made any sound at all since the heavy breathing wake of their sex. It was sad. He wanted to ask her if something was wrong, if she was still upset, if something else was bothering her. He didn’t. He wasn’t sure she would hear him; she seemed to be off, somewhere far away, where he would never, ever find her.

James didn’t like this. He wanted to talk and laugh and play like they usually did. He missed her, as asinine as it may be. She was right there next to him. But she wasn’t. She was alone, in her own world. James doubted he could bring her back to him. Trying would be like trying to raise the dead: futile and possibly dangerous.

He moved nearer to her, wanting to be close to her body if not her mind. He propped his head up on his hand and took in the sight of her. She was peaceful, elegant, exquisite. James wanted to burn the serene expression she wore now into his mind forever. It might have been the most beautiful image he would ever see. The desire to be as close as possible to her was overwhelming.

He lay back down, and pulled himself flush to her. He nuzzled into her neck and breathed deeply the scent that was so uniquely her. He placed a gentle kiss on her shoulder. Her smile surprised him; he wasn’t expecting her to come back to him. She lifted her head and kissed him lightly on the mouth. As she lay back down, she cuddled in closer to him.

He inhaled her scent again, completely wrapped up in the presence of her. He could feel her breath on his skin, and that was all he needed. He had found her, he realized, and both of them were gone now. Off to the secret, magical, perfect place that existed when they were together. They were a million miles away, together in his bed.

And maybe, maybe James didn’t like talking so much after all.




“EVANS! Hey, Evans!” He hollered after her as she walked by him in the Great Hall. She hesitated just for a moment, and he realized he had her attention. “Go out with me.”

She didn’t look back. “No.”

“Well, why not?” He turned around on the bench to face her, but remained sitting.

She turned on her heel and raised her eyebrows at him. “Because you’re a prick. I’m not particularly fond of pricks.”

“How ‘bout a snog then?” He waggled his eyebrows.

Her eyes flashed dangerously. She began storming toward him. For a brief, hopeful moment, he thought she might actually grab him and snog him right there. If she hadn’t been acutely aware of the hundreds of eyes on her, she might have.

As it is, she was aware that everyone was watching her, so instead of snogging him, she did what was expected of her. She slapped him. All in the room- except Lily- winced at the crack. Through his blinking eyelids, James could barely make out Lily storming through the hall and out the doors. Tentatively, he fingered the glowing hand mark he just knew was there. He groaned and moved toward the door.




She knew he would follow her. He always did. Usually she wanted him to. Today, however, she was just not in the mood. It had been a while since she was legitimately angry with him. Somehow, the frustration she might have felt was always over run by the anticipation of snogging him later. This time though, this time he had completely infuriated her.

She stomped through the hallways. She wasn’t sure where exactly she was going, but she knew she was not going to and unused classrooms or shadowy alcoves. So help her, James was not going to find her.

She succeeded in hiding from him for a bit, but all too soon, she heard his footsteps behind her. She upped her speed, but it was pointless. “Lily!” he called. He caught her arm and swung her around. She motioned to push him away, but he caught her hands. “I’m sorry, okay!”

She pulled herself from his grasp, “Oh, I’ll bet you’re sorry…” he cut off her rant with his mouth.

He knew it was probably stupid. He couldn’t remember the last time she was this angry with him, but with her face flushed and the dangerous look in her eyes, he just couldn’t help it. And, after all, wasn’t it a stupid move like this- exactly like this- that had started this whole thing?

He kissed her, just as he had nearly two years ago. Once again, and just as surprisingly, she kissed him back. Angry, passionate, and fierce, her lips moved against his, pouring her frustrations into him. She pressed her hands to his chest, and pushed him against the wall. It gave her better leverage, and allowed her to deepen the kiss.

James was highly amused. As their lips briefly disconnected, he whispered, “Still think I’m a prick?”

She pushed his head back against the wall with her kiss. “Yes.”




Lily’s desk was a mess. There were half-written essays that had been cast aside for new and improved versions; a scramble of letters from home, and a few addressed to her family that needed to be sent; and a handful of textbooks. She was attempting to organize the stacks of parchment, but it was to no avail. Amidst her stacking, words would catch her eye, and she would stop, read through the old letter or start of an essay, smile fondly or grimace at it, and continue stacking. It was really a very strenuous process.

Halfway through a potions essay that had been due several months prior, Lily subconsciously registered her dormitory door opening. It didn’t phase her, she did share the room with five other girls and they did have as much right to come in whenever the pleased as she did. She ignored the door, and continued contemplating why she had chosen to rewrite that particular essay. The first few paragraphs were quite good, she thought.

A small cough from behind her startled her a bit, but again, she chose to ignore it. She dismissed the potions essay, added it to her stack, and began file through the rest of her papers.

“Lily.” Garnered her attention. She turned around to meet James.

“Well, hullo.” She smiled briefly and rose to meet him. “How did you get in here?” She wanted to eat the words the moment they left her mouth. He had been to her room before, she just hadn’t thought to ask how before.

“Nice to see you too.” He crossed his arms over his chest, and raised his eyebrows.

“I didn’t say it wasn’t nice to see you. It’s just-“

“Surprising?” He chuckled.

“Yes.” She paused for a moment before adding, “Pleasantly.”

He grinned at her. “Good.”

She rolled her eyes, and shook her head. “You didn’t answer my question.”

“Right,” he unfolded his arms, and began walking toward her. “I’m afraid I can’t tell you that. Top secret.”

“I thought you said we shouldn’t keep secrets?”

“Right! I said that… so um… I got up here by magic!”

“You said no lies either.”

“I’m not lying. I did use magic.”

“Right.” She looked skeptically at him. “Can you at least indulge me and tell me why you’re here?”

“Certainly.” He took another step toward her and placed his hands on her hips. “It’s simple enough. I missed you.”

“Did you now?” She looked up at him and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Terribly.” He whispered before descending his mouth to hers.




“I think you should miss me more often.” Lily mused as she attempted to catch her breath. James sniggered. “What? That was… wonderful. And I didn’t even go anywhere. Maybe I’ll just start avoiding you.”

“You wouldn’t want to do that.”

“Why not?” She rolled to her side, looked him in the eye. His glasses had been removed sometime before, so she could peer directly into them. She realized he really had quite beautiful eyes.

“You would miss my riveting sense of humor.”

“Right. That’s what I would miss.” Her voice dripped with sarcasm.

“Ouch.” She shrugged it off with a smirk. “It’s good to know why you keep me around.”

“I don’t keep secrets from you.”

He winced. “I deserved that one.” She raised her eyebrows, “I promise I’ll tell you one day. You’ll enjoy the story. It’s a riveting tale containing a cat named Oskar.”

“See? I should start avoiding you. I’d have better sex and information!” She started to move toward the edge of the bed.

James remained laying. “Are you leaving?” She nodded, “but this is your room!” She shrugged. “What will your roommates think when they find me naked in your bed?”

“That you’re mad, probably. They already think you stalk me, it wouldn’t be all that surprising.”

“That really hurts, Lily.” He clutched his chest and reached out for emphasis. Lily could not contain her laughter as James reached blatantly in the wrong direction. “What’s funny? I’m not kidding!”

“You really can’t see without your glasses on, can you?”

He blushed and put his hands down. “No.” She took an unwilling step toward him. “Are you really going to avoid a poor blind man who just wants to be with you?”

“Are you going to lie to me again?” She took another step.

“Never, love.” She took a step into his arms, and wrapped hers around his neck. She slowly moved her face, so that their noses were touching. He smiled before she kissed him.




“Are you okay?”

It was a difficult question. Quite possibly the hardest she had answered in her years at Hogwarts- O.W.L.’s included. In any other case she would have replied simply, “Yes, of course!” maybe excuse herself by claiming fatigue, or other sickness. Prove to who ever was asking that there was no reason for her not to be okay, and there never had been. Answering any other way would mean explaining why she wasn’t, and only one other person in the world could ever know that.

Unfortunately, that other person was the one asking the question.

“Of course, why wouldn’t I be?” she answered. It wasn’t a lie, exactly. There was nothing immediately plaguing her. Of course, she knew why he was asking. And he knew that she knew too. He raised his eyebrows, reminding her of this.

“I think so, anyway.” She amended, trying at least, for honesty. She wasn’t sure if she was okay, yet. She certainly wasn’t good. But she wasn’t necessarily bad either. She was traveling the road between the two. Perhaps okay was a stop along the way.

He moved closer to her and brushed the hair out of her face. His glasses had been replaced on his face, and through them, it seemed as though he could see directly into her. “It’s hard.” She sighed. “It’s the most bizarre feeling I’ve ever had.” He continued to look at her, willing her on with his expression. “It’s like I’ve lost something.” She shook her head, “But I never had it.”

She could feel emotions bursting forth. She didn’t understand it. She had dealt with these emotions long ago, alone. “So why should I be upset about it?” The tears were stinging her eyes, and try and she might she could not keep them back. “And I know,” she choked, “I know its obtainable,” She inhaled sharply. Her tears were falling freely, and some time ago, he had placed his hand on hers, squeezing it gently. “One day,” She sniffed, and wiped at her tears with her free hand, “One day I can have whatever it is that I’ve lost. I will, it’s a fact of life, it’s just…” She broke away from him, and brought her hands to cover her face, “I don’t even know!”

His response was simple. He moved toward her, and pulled her into him. He rested her head on his shoulder, and wrapped one arm around her back, while the other caressed her hair. He leaned his check against her temple as she sniffed and sobbed. When it seemed she had calmed down, he did not release her, but pressed a soft kiss to her forehead.

Everything he might have said was lost, but it didn’t matter. His silence was all that was needed.




Lily was not sleeping. She was very aware of this. Her eyes were closed, she wasn’t moving, to anyone looking-- namely the boy next to her-- it seemed she was asleep. If she could help it, she probably would be. She was very tired, but she just could not calm her mind down. So she lay there, wrapped warmly in her lover’s arms; eyes closed, body still, mind running.

James was not sleeping either. Lily could tell. Not that it was difficult; he wasn’t even pretending to sleep. She could feel his uneven breaths, the shifting of his weight, the occasional movement of his hands on her body. Perhaps a while ago he had been trying to sleep, as she was, but now he was resigned to lying next to her, completely awake. She felt him huff indignantly. “Lily?”

She could answer him. She knew that deep down somewhere inside of her, she had the ability. But actually summoning that ability was far too much effort for her to respond. She remained silent.

“Are you sleeping?”

No. She could shake her head. It was a menial action, simple enough. Two simple movements. She could do it. Or she could lie there. Stay still. The choice was simple.

She didn’t respond.

He chuckled. “Oh, Lily,” he was speaking softly. “What am I going to do with you?” He was smiling; she could hear it in his voice. He began stroking her hair gently. After a few moments, he placed a kiss on her temple. His lips remained close to her; she could feel them brush lightly against her skin as he moved to her ear. They remained touch her ear, just barely, as James whispered, just barely:

“I love you, Lily.”




The decision to ignore his statement was simple enough. He hadn’t known she was awake, therefore, did not really want her to know anyway. He couldn’t. If he did, he would’ve said it when he was sure she was listening.

She wasn’t pressured to respond at all, but it disconcerted her nonetheless. They still weren’t in a relationship. They were just having fun. It meant… nothing. And falling in love, or saying it at least, was definitely against the rules.

But she did still enjoy his company, so she ignored him.

It was simple enough.




He kissed her lips softly. She smiled half-heartedly back at him. Despite a handful of meetings, three weeks, and the threat of two months without him; his words were plaguing her. He just wasn’t supposed to say that! It was not part of their agreement.

“What’s the matter?” he asked her, kissing her forehead. “Upset again?”

“Not at all.” She smiled and kissed his nose. She expected him to berate her for lying, but he let it drop.

He smiled, catching her lips in another kiss. He reached down and grasped her hands in his own. She pulled them away abruptly. “No handholding, remember?”

His expression changed from content to confused and hurt. “That- that was like two years ago… Are we back to that, really?”

She moved away from him, and sat up. “We never left that.”

“Oh that’s bullshit, Lily and you know it.” The were both standing now, facing each other and glaring with a ferocity they hadn’t seen in ages.

“It’s not! We had an agreement! There were rules!” Her hands were gesturing of their own accord. She knew her face was beet red, she could feel the heat growing in her cheeks.

“Two years ago!” He spat viciously back at her. He moved toward her, trying to calm himself. He reached out to her, “We’ve just, been through so much since then. I thought we were past these stupid rules.” He had grabbed her hand, pleading with her.

“Don’t!” She ripped her hand away. “Rules are not stupid!” She began pacing, “The provide order, and- and- they’re not stupid!”

“Okay!” He responded, “They’re not stupid.” She stopped moving, but kept her back turned to him. “But Lily,” he moved closer to her, “That was so long ago. It was before we were here. Back when we were just having fun. Before we got serious.”

She whipped around, pushing him around. “We are not serious! We’re not in a relationship!”

“Because you won’t agree to it! We act like we are, you just won’t make it official!”

“Because I don’t want to be in a relationship with you!” His face fell once again.

“You don’t want a relationship?” he asked tentatively. “Or you don’t want a relationship with me?”

She took a deep, angry breath. “I don’t want relationship,” His face lifted with a glimmer of hope, “with you.”

“Well why the hell not!?” He stormed toward her grabbed her wrists and glared into her blank eyes. “Why is it okay for me to kiss you, but not to hold your hand? Why the hell is it okay to act like a couple when we’re alone, and when it suits you but no other time?”

Lily’s face remained blank. This was not the outcome she was expecting (but then, James had a knack for surprising her). She was vaguely aware of James’ voice continuing to ask her difficult questions. There was no answer for them. All that was running through her head were ways to get away from him. Now.

“I-I,” she took a breath, “I don’t know, James.” Without looking at him, she grabbed the clothes she had neglected, and hastily put them on. He didn’t protest. She walked to the door, and briefly turned her head. “I’ll write to you this summer.”

She closed the door behind her. After two steps, the crashing against the door made her flinch. She continued walking.



AN: Well, I hope that was worth the wait! I'm sorry it was so late, I just got CRAZY busy. I literally had no time to write. And I had writers block. It's not a good combination. At all. Please please leave me a review! Even though I know I don't deserve it... Please? :)

Love, Sunny


Chapter 8: Summer, again
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She kept her promise, and wrote to him. She was disappointed, though not surprised when he didn’t respond. He was angry, and he really did have every right to be. She didn’t expect a response any time soon, but she kept writing. There was no way he was going to think she was giving up. She wasn’t.

So she wrote. They all said relatively the same thing (I’m sorry! Please, let me apologize in person. I miss you) in different variations. With every letter, a twinge of excitement coursed through her. Each time she saw a bird flying even vaguely toward her window, she held her breath. Her hopes were continually dashed by migrating birds and occasionally letters from her friends.

However sore her disappointment, she held her own. She knew he would respond eventually. He simply had to. He would respond to her letter, and forgive her, and all would be well once again. It would work out, because they had great sex, and they laughed a lot, and they shared secrets, and he comforted her when she needed it, and he left her cute notes, and that, that… was actually something she didn’t want to think about.

She was certain it would happen, once he had had time to cool off. It just had to.



He surprised her, a few days later, by responding. It was far sooner than she had actually expected, she had prepared to wait most of the summer. It was shocking to say the least. She hadn’t really believed it at first, but there it was: clear as day in her hands.

Fine. Leaky Caldron. Two o’clock. Saturday.

She noted his angry tone, and began bracing herself for the confrontation that was sure to meet her Saturday.




The three-day-flu struck at least one member of the Evans family at least one a year. It was always the same, and though every one of them knew exactly how to deal with it, there was no possible way to shorten its lifespan.

It always invaded in the dead of night, while its unsuspecting victim slept. It would awaken them quite rudely in the morning, with muscles so sore and heavy they could hardly be moved, and a throbbing head, which rendered thinking mostly impossible. Upon finally mustering enough energy to sit up, the entire contents of the stomach would be emptied. The commotion would generally stir at least one worried question. The worried question would actually cause more concern, as it would reveal to the victim that one ear (generally the right, though that was one of the few variables of the three-day-flu) seemed to have been submerged in water. The victim would then reply, which would cause even more worry, their voice would have disappeared, and forcing it out caused a great deal of pain. However, none of this would diagnose the dreaded disease. Suspicion may be aroused, but to truly know, the victim must continue back to their bed. If it were indeed the three-day-flu, as soon as they entered the room, the victim would sneeze. And that was how the Evans’ knew they were in for it.

The thirty-six hours following the sneeze were some of the more miserable days any one could experience. Confined to bed, and hardly able to move, any other plans, no matter how major flew out of the window. Slipping in and out of sleep, there was nothing anyone could do. Sneeze, vomit, cough, grown, until exactly three days later, it would completely disappear.

It was always, always the same.

When she was seven, a favorite neighbor asked Lily and Petunia to be flower girls in her wedding. Lily raved about it for weeks, she was so excited. The morning of the rehearsal, Lily sneezed. Their neighbor had only one flower girl.

Several years ago, Albert Evans was up for manager at the factory. He was informed that he, along with a couple others, would be observed over the course of a few days. The day the observations were to start, Albert awoke victim to the dreaded disease. He returned to work three days later, in the same, mundane job.

After months of planning, Iris Miller was scheduled to visit her daughter, Daisy Evans. They day before her mother’s arrival, Daisy worried her youngest daughter as she heaved early in the morning. They both held their breath as Daisy walked back into her room. The resounding achoo! marked the beginning of the worst visit to date.

The day before Petunia’s best friend’s sweet sixteen, she succumbed. Petunia has still not been forgiven.

The three-day-flu was always vicious. It was always stealthy. It was always marked by a single sneeze. It always lasted exactly three days. And it always had impeccably awful timing.




Friday morning, Lily woke up with a headache so bad; she cursed the sun for being too bright, and the birds for singing too loudly. She attempted to roll over, but found it was far too much work. She lay back for a moment, summoning all of her strength. After she had pushed herself into a sitting position, a wave of nausea passed over her. She ran to the bathroom, and emptied the contents of her stomach. Her mother appeared in the doorway and asked if she was okay. Lily had to turn her head, and ask her mother (in an unintentional whisper) to repeat the question. Daisy winced, and told her daughter to go back to bed.

She braced herself as she returned to her room. She brightened considerably as she made it through the doorway. Her happiness was short lived, however; Lily and Daisy wore identical grimaces as she sneezed a moment later.

Grudgingly, she returned to her bed, prepared to spend the next three days there.

Lily slipped through dreams, and consciousness; a state of delirium in which she was not quite sure what was real. In a few moments of full alertness, Lily tried to eat, wiped her runny nose, or emptied anything that had managed to travel to her stomach. These moments were few and far between, never lasting long before Lily slipped back into oblivion.

A resounding crack snapped her back to reality. She groaned, and opened her eyes, ready to glare at whatever had disturbed her temporary peace. Her gaze landed on the source of her agitation. “What are you doing here, James?” She was vaguely aware that she sounded angry; she hadn’t meant to.

“What are you doing here?!” His carefully placed mask of calm was slipping a bit, though for the most part, he seemed more annoyed than angry.

“I live here.”

“Well, yes, Lily,” he snapped, gradually becoming more angry, “I’m aware of that.” Lily lay back in her bed, attempting to muster enough energy to ask him why he would ask such a stupid question, “I’m wondering why you’re here, as opposed to say, the Leaky Caldron, at a meeting which you were desperate to have.”

Lily sat straight up, “That was today?”

“An hour and a half ago, actually. It was splendid, sitting there by myself. Stimulating conversation. Honestly.”

Merlin.” She breathed, “I’m sorry, okay! I’m sick.”

“And you didn’t think I deserved to know about this?!” The mask of calm had completely vanished, revealing the anger that only Lily could unleash.

“I forgot! Okay? I haven’t left my bed since-“ she sincerely thought, but could not find the answer, “I don’t even know! Goodness! I’m surprised you didn’t thoroughly enjoy your date with yourself. That’s all you ever think about anyway.”

“Is that a fucking joke?” He kept a distance from her, though Lily could tell from her bed that he was visibly shaking with anger. He was glaring directly into her eyes, daring her to respond.

“No. It’s not.” She rose from her bed, but did not move toward him. “Why do you think I always say no? Because you’re a selfish fucking prick. I can hardly stand to be around you when we’re not fucking.”

“Is that so?” He was eerily calm. “I’m glad to know where I stand with you.” He shot her another murderously haunting look, “Don’t bother writing.” With another loud pop, James was gone.

Lily sat back on her bed, cradling her throbbing head in her hands. Eventually, she lay back down, and after a while, she even drifted into a restless sleep.




Monday morning, Lily rose happy and healthy, as if she had never been ill at all. She smiled at the sunlight pouring through the window, and practically bounced to the kitchen for breakfast.

The dreaded disease seemed nothing more than a distant memory, a dream that had had a profound impact once upon a time, but has since faded into the dust. Lily sat, chewing her breakfast and mulling over the past three days. Most of it was a filmy haze, although several dreams stood out clearly.

In one, she was riding an owl. She had to deliver a letter, it was urgent, though she did not know why, or even who was receiving it. She had gotten nearly to her destination, when Petunia had shown up, and plucked her off of the owl.

In another, she had been playing at the park, the same she, Petunia and Sev had frequented as children. They were teenagers now, but all of them were there, playing as though they were seven, and the pain of the world had not affected them.

The most realistic, Lily mused, had contained James. He had apparated into her room, and told her off for missing their meeting. They had fought; the words were burned clearly into her mind. She thought it was particularly odd, because their meeting was definitely not until Saturday, and today was… Well it didn’t matter, exactly, she was certain that she would’ve remembered their meeting. Even through her delirium.

“Well, you’re up early.” Her mother’s voice brought her out of her daze. “And looking much better. Three-day-flu run it’s course?”

“Of course,” Lily smiled, “It always does. That’s why we call it the ‘three-day-flu.’”

“Right you are, darling.” She sat down next to her daughter, and began devouring her breakfast.

“What’s the rush, Mum?”

She had finished her food, and was already moving toward the sink, “I’m just running a bit late is all. Have to be into work early on Mondays, remember?” Lily nodded her head, as she swallowed another mouthful. Daisy checked her watch, “Well, best be off. Have a nice day, dear.” She rushed past her, pausing only to kiss her daughter on the head.

“You too, Mum.” She called after her, hoping she had heard.

She looked at the clock in the kitchen for the first time that morning. It was early, although, Lily’s mother did need to be to work early on Mondays… Monday… It was Monday? Lily flew to the calendar to check. Indeed, it was Monday. And that meant…

“Oh, Merlin.”




With a faint pop, Lily arrived in the parlor she had talked to James in the previous summer. She had hoped that he would be there; she didn’t know where else to look. Her hopes were not disappointed, he was hunched over a desk she hadn’t noticed the last time she was there.

“I’m almost done, Padfoot,” He turned just a moment after the sound announced her arrival. His demeanor had been easy, playful, but as soon as he laid eyes on her, it changed. His eyes narrowed, and his features hardened.

Standing in the center of this room, with nothing to hide behind, and his glare burning holes into her, Lily had never felt more vulnerable. “I’m sorry.” She whispered. If possible, his face contorted into an even angrier expression. “I didn’t,” she took a deep breath, “I didn’t mean anything I said on Saturday.”

“Then why,” his words were drawn out. He was trying to control himself, and for the moment at least, he was succeeding. “Did you say it?”

She shrugged. “Because I was sick, and I was tired, and really, really confused as to why you were standing in my room.”

She noticed him biting back a smile, but he remained silent. She continued, “but I don’t – you’re not selfish. At all. I know that. I think you’re rather selfless actually. And if I could take it back I would, but I can’t.”

“Well,” His face was emotionless, “I’m glad to know that at least you don’t think I’m selfish.”

Her face brightened. She moved toward him, and picked up his hands. “Of course I don’t James! After everything that you’ve done for me,” She paused, “How could I think that?”

He snatched back his hands and turned from her. “Well, I don’t know, Evans!” He turned back, his face finally revealing his fury, “there seems to be a lot of things that you can do, despite,” his voice took on a vicious mocking tone, “’everything I’ve done for you.’”


Lily started, aghast, but James cut her off, “Like refusing to be seen with me in public! Or calling me a prick. That’s- that’s a great ‘thank you’ right there.”

Lily’s face contorted into a glare as vicious as James’ “If you need compensation for helping me, I don’t want your help in the future.”

“I don’t, Lily. I just-“ He sighed; cradling his head in his hands, before bringing them up through his hair, “It’d be nice to know that I’ve proved to you that I’m not some kind of terrible person.”

“I don’t think that.” She moved closer to him, and decided against putting a soothing hand on his shoulder.

“But you still think I’m a prick.”

She sighed, “It’s complicated.”

“Simplify it.”

She turned from him, and took a deep breath. “It’s like,” she took another breath. “There’s two guys,” She turned back toward him, “and one of them, is wonderful. He’s sweet, and caring, and” she smirked, “a killer shag.” This earned her a smile from him. “And I like him, quite a bit. But then, there’s this other guy,” her voice became more serious, and James’ smile disappeared. “And he is arrogant, and he picks on people, and yeah he’s funny once in a while, but other than that, he’s just foul. And him, I don’t like at all.”

He stared blankly at her. “You have to understand, James, that those people, that you pick on, they come to me for help. And how am I supposed to- how are they going to feel comfortable coming to me if I’m dating their tormentor?”

He ruffled his hair, “I didn’t think of it like that.”

She went to him, grasping his hands, “I wouldn’t expect you to.” He didn’t respond, but seemed satisfied. Daringly, she moved closer, dropping his hands in favor of his neck. “I missed you, you know.” She nuzzled against his chin, and noticed the hair there had become rather rough. Gently, she brushed her lips against his. He smiled slightly. “Am I forgiven?”

“I suppose,” he smirked.

“Good,” she whispered against his lips. “Because I really, really missed you.”

“Did you really?” His voice revealed his raised eyebrows, “Then how ‘bout you show me?”

She pulled away and bit her lip, smiling, “I think I can do that.”




He shouldn’t have forgiven her. He shouldn’t have agreed to meet her. He shouldn’t have given her the chance to manipulate him again. He shouldn’t have even answered her letters. He knew it was a bad idea. Because she sweet, and lovely, and sickeningly sincere in her apology. And now, they were back, in exactly the same position he had tried to wiggle out of at the end of the year.

He shouldn’t have forgiven her, but when concerning Lily Evans, there were a lot of things that James Potter shouldn’t have done. It was the basis of their entire relationship, really. If Lily had done what she should’ve in fourth year, James would’ve had a black eye and would probably lack the ability to have children. But to be honest, James probably shouldn’t have kissed her in the first place.

He shouldn’t have done it. He should never have started this torrid fling with Lily Evans. He’d be free of too much frustration, anxiety, and embarrassingly, heartache.

He shouldn’t have fallen in love with her.

But he did. He did all of it. He kissed her when she was mad because she looked exceptionally pretty, and he kept doing it because it was so much damn fun. He had actually started liking her in fifth year, because she was as sneaky as he was, and owned it. She made him laugh, and he made her laugh, and they were merry. He put up with all of her shit, because by that point he was in love with her. And he was pretty sure she knew it, and felt the same. Which may be why her constant refusals hurt so bloody much. She hurt him, again, and again, and again, and when he was almost free of the pain, he went and forgave her.

Because, to be honest, being with out her hurt much, much worse.




Smiling and chuckling, the pair stumbled through the parlor into James’ bedroom. Lily’s sundress was discarded as soon as they made it through the door, and James’ tee shirt broke something as Lily hurled it across the room.

James pushed her down on the bed, relishing the sight of her before his glasses would inevitably come off. She grinned up at him, and James went back to work on her neck, while she made quick work of his belt. Reluctantly, he reached up to his face, removing his spectacles before Lily could. It may have caused him a few moments of pleasurable vision, but at least he would know where they were.

She caught his hand as it travelled to his bedside table. “Stop,” she commanded, “Leave them on.”

He grinned at her before continuing on their best shag yet.




“Oh, oh merlin, James,” She panted. He pushed a single ringlet out of her face as he lay on top of her, “That was, was,-- There aren’t even words to describe that!”

He chuckled from his position on her neck. “It’s amazing what can happen when I can see you, isn’t it?” He asked between kisses down her throat.

“Apparently.” She gasped as a well-placed nip sent shivers down her spine. He chuckled again. Lily tilted her head back, basking in her afterglow, and enjoying the tingles he was still giving her. “You’re incredible.”

“Why, thank you, love.” He moved from her neck, back to her face, and kissed her lips lightly before finally rolling off of her. “But really, it takes two.”

She laughed and rolled onto her side. He brushed the hair out of her face, and picked up her hands. He pecked her nose, and she crinkled her face; it was so unbearably cute, James thought it should be illegal. The pair stayed like that for a bit. Laying together, staring at each other, playing, laughing.

All too soon, Lily frowned. “I should go,” she whispered.

“No, you shouldn’t.” He kissed her deeply, attempting to distract her.

“I have to though.”

Once before, they had had this conversation. She had tried to leave, and James had prevented it. He had told her to stay, and she had listened. At that point, she was frail, and needed to stay with him every bit as much as he wanted her to. It hadn’t taken much persuasion.

He watched her search madly for her clothing.

Today, he debated once again preventing her departure. He wanted to spend more time with her, to smile and laugh and play with her. He wanted to tell her to stay. But she wasn’t the frail girl who needed to stay with him anymore. She was happy and confident, and though he liked this Lily, a little part of him wanted her to revert, simply so she would stay again.

She dressed quickly.

He couldn’t make her stay. She wouldn’t listen so easily anymore. He couldn’t ask her, either. He knew what the answer would be, and he couldn’t stand to hear it.

She moved over to him, and kissed him one last time.

And though he thought it might kill him, he watched her go.



An: An: So, I think that I should get an award for the fastest update ever. :D I know some of you will be disappointed, but I promise, it needs to happen. Feel free to tell me how you feel about it, I promise not to be offended. :) So, I hope that you enjoy this! Please review!

Sunny


Chapter 9: Seventh Year, Part One
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An: So for those of you who haven't forgotten about this, or lost interest in it... I give you chapter nine.


 





 

He knew it would be her.

 

Who else could it have been? What other witch possessed her intellect, her kindness, her leadership? Who else could stop a delinquent dead in his tracks with just a look?

 

Lily was the only logical choice.

 

Deep down, he knew it would be him too.

 

It was less obvious, of course. He was a troublemaker, and he didn’t believe in rules. But the school respected him, and followed his lead, and well, he was pretty smart too. Had he been a prefect, it would have been a no-brainer. He wasn’t a prefect though, so unless one thought about it, it didn’t make sense.

 

Remus would’ve been the logical choice. But there were certain restrictions on Remus. He had said himself that it would’ve been reckless for Dumbledore to make him Head Boy. So the position fell to James.

 

It was clear to him. It made sense.

 

Lily, however, was not so easily convinced.

 

 




 

 

“James,” she breathed as she walked into the Prefects’ compartment. “What are you doing here?”

 

He rose from his seat, and sauntered over to greet her. “Waiting for you of course.” He murmured. He did not kiss her, but his flesh was so close to hers, he could feel the heat emanating off of her.

 

“I can’t do this right now, James.” She whispered, “I’ve got to meet the Head Boy soon.”

 

He rested his forehead against hers, “You’re a bit late, actually.”

 

She pulled away immediately. “Was he here? Did he see you?” She began pacing frantically.

 

“Calm down.” He moved toward her and put his soothing hands on her hips.

 

“But what if he thinks that I’m unorganized or unreliable or irresponsible or-“

 

“I would never think that about you.” He grinned.

 

“Well I know you wouldn’t but-” her eyes fell to a glare on his chest. “Oh, very funny, Potter. Who’d you knick that from?” She pointed to the badge pinned proudly to his chest.

 

“No one, funnily enough. I got it with my letter.” He said.

 

Lily burst into laughter. “Right. Okay, really, that was very funny, Potter. Now where’s Remus. I’m sure it’s him.”

 

“It’s not.” He snapped. “Would you like to see my letter?”

 

“Oi. You’re not joking, are you?” He shook his head. “Bloody Hell. Has Dumbledore actually gone insane?”

 

“Well, I certainly hope not. Now, shall we get down to business?”

 

She agreed silently, and the pair set to organizing themselves before the prefects began to trickle in. When all of them had arrived, Lily began to describe duties, responsibilities, and privileges that came with being a prefect. When she paused, James chimed in, and together, they educated the group very well.

 

After the prefects’ had left, James dutifully began to reorganize the compartment. Lily moved to help, but ended up staring at him for a good few minutes, her eyebrows knit together in concentration.

 

Finally noticing her gaze, James looked up at her questioningly.

 

“Did you bribe him?”

 

James chuckled. “Why in the name of Merlin would I want to do that?”

 

“I don’t know.” Lily had finally begun helping him, “Your parents’ expectations, your resume…” she trailed off, before hesitantly adding, “to spend more time with me?”

 

He scoffed, “My parents would be proud of me even if I sat around their house all day drinking firewhiskey and scratching myself.” Lily laughed, “I don’t need to pad my resume, it’s pretty well loaded already. And I spend entirely too much time with you as it is.” She was clearly offended, though James shrugged it off. He exhaled loudly, “This job is going to ruin all my fun.”

 

She rolled her eyes, briefly annoyed with his complaints. Then, smirking wickedly, she turned to him. With a step, she had managed to move herself close enough to him that her lips could easily brush his ear as she whispered, “All of your fun?” 

 

He turned sharply and wrapped his arms around her waist, “Perhaps not all of it…”

 

She moved away from him coyly, “You do spend entirely too much time with me, though, so maybe I should leave?” She turned and, as expected, he caught her wrist before she could move.

 

“Did I say that? What I meant was I don’t spend nearly enough time with you.”

 

Lazily, she flicked her wand at the door, closing the blind and locking the door effectively. Slowly she turned back toward him, “Now, that’s what I thought you meant…”

 

 




 

 

Three weeks into term, James decided that he really did enjoy being Head Boy. While it did indeed ruin some of his fun, there were certain benefits that almost made up for it.

 

“Hey, Evans!” He jogged to her table in the common room just as she was packing up. She paused briefly and looked up at him.

 

“Yes, Potter?” He was faintly sure that it was the kindest tone she had ever used with him in public.

 

“We need to organize the prefects’ schedules.” She nodded, “When are you free?”

 

“That’s a question really more poised to you.” She quipped. “I can rearrange anything I need to.”

 

“Right,” he stammered, “Well, I have quidditch Wednesday and Tuesday, so, does Thursday work for you?”

 

She had gone back to packing her things, “Yes it does. Here at seven?”

 

“Library. It’s quieter.”

 

“I’ll be there.”

 

 




 

 

Thursday came, and at quarter to seven, James made his way to the Library. He pulled everything he needed out of his bag, and leaned back to wait for Lily.

 

She arrived five minutes later, at seven o’clock sharp. Glancing at her watch, she spoke, “You’re early?

 

“Yes.” His eyebrows knit together to question her.

 

“How did that happen? You’re late for everything. Always.”

 

“I resent that.” She raised her eyebrows in response. “Okay, but I don’t mean to be. I’m just easily distracted.”

 

“By what?” she chuckled.

 

“You, mostly.” She attempted to scowl, but failed miserably. She broke into a grin and started to giggle.

 

James beamed back at her. He swore her laugh was the most beautiful thing he would ever hear. The rest of the meeting passed in a blur. He wasn’t sure if they actually got any work done, but he didn’t care.

 

He had made her laugh; that was accomplishment enough.

 

 




 

 

“Hey.” It was a raspy whisper; so sultry it stopped James in his tracks. The sight before him added to his surprise, leaving him shocked still as a statue.

 

Lily was there, sitting on his bed, clad only in her under things. After a moment of basking in her beauty, he was able to speak, “H-hey.” She smirked, and rose from the bed, approaching him. “What brings you here?”

 

She was circling him, her finger leaving trails of tingles as she walked, “You, mostly.”

 

He chuckled. “Are you sure? Because I don’t remember having anything to do with that.”

 

“I should clarify.” She was facing him now, her arms snaked around his neck, “It was lack of you, actually.” She brushed her nose against his, “You see, we’re nearly a month into term here, and we’ve yet to do anything,” she kissed him lightly, “fun.”

 

“Hmmmmm,” he leaned his head against hers, “We’ve been busy.” She had begun to kiss his neck, “I’ve had quidditch,” She was sucking on his pulse point, “And Head Duties,” she nipped lightly, “And classes…” He trailed off with a particularly well-placed bite. His hands slipped to her hips, his fingers slipping just beneath her knickers. He felt her smile against his neck. She began unbuttoning his shirt, without her mouth leaving him. He closed his eyes to enjoy her movements with no distractions. He stayed that way, perfectly content, for a few moments, until his shirt dropped to the floor. The sudden chill brought him back to his senses, and he began pushing Lily toward his bed.

 

There was always time for fun.

 

 

 




 

Lily was thoroughly surprised by the immense joy she received from her Head Duties. James was just as entertaining—if not more so—during their meetings, as he was during their meetings. He made her laugh constantly, he laughed at her, and he even carried on intelligent conversations on the rare occasion she desired it. In fact, Lily found that the more time she spent with James in their meetings, the more time she wanted to spend with James… outside of their meetings.

 

Truly, she had always enjoyed his company. They had a unique form of chemistry that made everything- fighting, talking, sex- more fun that it would have been with anyone else.

 

She supposed that she had always known that, certainly she hadn’t enjoyed arguing with anyone else quite as much as him. It was an unrealized- or perhaps unacknowledged- fact. A statement of truth that she could no longer deny: she liked spending time with him.

 

It was quite the revelation.

 

 




 

 

He stared at her with an artist’s eye, trying desperately to soak in every single detail of her, before the scene changed. Before she left.

 

She was an exquisite sight: lying in his bed with nothing to cover her, except occasionally him. She was silent, a small smile played at her lips, her chest rose and fell as she recovered; she was still positively glowing. Her hair was splayed about her, some sticking to her face, piling around her shoulders, or fanned out on his pillow. Brilliant green eyes traveled the room, flashing to the window, the ceiling, the posters on the walls, him.

 

Their eyes met, and both of them grinned. He moved toward her, and brushed the hair out of her face. His hand remained and gently caressed her cheek. She lightly took hold of it, removing it from her face. Immediately, she returned it, bringing it gently to her lips. She continued, trailing slow, wet kisses up his arm, shoulder and neck. Too soon, though not quickly enough, she found his mouth. They kissed slowly, sweetly, softly; the type of kiss only lovers know. 

 

She pulled away, though he clung to her, expecting her to leave. She smiled at him and moved closer, nuzzling into the crook of his neck. He kissed her hair, “Don’t go.”

 

“I won’t,” she said softly, he smiled to himself, “there’s no where else I’d rather be.”

 

 




 

 

When he thought about her, and when he thought about him, and when he thought about the two of them together, it didn’t make sense.

 

She was cool and distant. She remained aloof and mysterious, unless she was aggravated. She had a temper of course, but igniting it was quite the task. If she could help it, she would not show her emotions. She tended to push people away. She had loads of friends, but none of them were particularly close to her. In fact, the only close friend he could remember her having, was Snape.

 

He was friendly and welcoming, to most people, anyway. He talked to everyone but Slytherins, and was always a source of gossip. Everyone knew him, and everyone knew about him, and frankly, he liked it that way. He wore his heart on his sleeve, in the manliest way possible. If he was happy, it showed. If he was angry, it showed. Sad, calm, mischievous, frustrated, whatever he was feeling, anyone could tell. He always welcomed new conversation, and loved to meet new people. He was friendly enough with everyone, though he called few friends. They were fiercely close, closer than brothers.

 

She was stringent on rules. They all had a purpose, and were there to prevent chaos, and protect the weak, she believed. She readily reprimanded rule breakers, and stood up for those who needed it. She broke rules rarely, and only when it suited her.

 

He did not exactly believe in rules. They were usually good guidelines, but that was all they were good for. Almost anything could fly if it was for a good cause. He broke most of them, big and small.

 

 She was sweet and delicate, truly a flower worthy of her name.

 

He was rough and strong: a man’s man, with a poet’s soul.

 

She was selfish. She planned everything according to how it would affect her.

 

He was selfless. He would do anything for someone he loved.

 

She did not want a relationship.

 

He wanted nothing more.

 

She and he were completely separate entities. They did not make sense.

 

But really, he did not care.

 

He didn’t care that she didn’t want a relationship.

 

He didn’t mind that she thought of herself first.

 

He appreciated how fragile she seemed. And it amused him when she proved that she wasn’t.

 

He enjoyed her reluctant pride on the occasions she broke a rule, he especially enjoyed her rule breaking when he- as he usually did- benefited from it. He admired her ability to protect the weak, and stand up for what she believed in, even if he didn’t agree with her.  He had the highest regard for her strict following of the rules; she believed in them, after all, even if he did not.

 

He was infinitely fond of her mystery; it never failed to keep him intrigued. He liked being able to force emotions out of her. He adored being the only one who had such power. He absolutely loved being closer to her than anyone else.

 

It didn’t make sense. But love, he reasoned, hardly ever makes any sense at all.

 

 

 





AN: I'm not even going to apologize. It's completely pointless at this point. But I do hope that you enjoy this. It's a lot shorter than I had originally planned, of course, all of my chapters are... but I think it's a good start to the seventh year. I know it's short, but hopefully it'll keep you satisfied until my fall break... in October. :( Review?

Sunny


 


Chapter 10: Seventh Year, Part Two
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The library was a common location for Lily and James to be found together. The quiet atmosphere and large tables were extremely conducive to their Heads’ work, and the window near their favorite table offered a stunning view of the Lake. That table was also the one farthest away from Madame Pince, and therefore, the one where they were least likely to be scolded. Because of this prime location, the pair would often take the opportunity to work on their schoolwork after their meetings. They worked, chatted, laughed, and helped each other where need be. Occasionally, they would just sit, working on different projects, immersed in silence and enjoying each other’s company.
 


 

Because it was common practice for them to work there, it also became common knowledge, that when one wanted them, that was one of the first places to look.



 

 






“Hey, James,” someone purred. After a split seconds hesitation, he realized it was not Lily. The voice was far too high-pitched, far too whiny, and far too flirtatious for Lily to use ever. Let alone in public. And besides, Lily was sitting right next to him. If she had wanted his attention, she would have just nudged him.


 

 


 

He finished the sentence he was working on, and looked up. “How can I help you, Alyssa?” He smiled at the tall, blonde sixth year. He noticed Lily’s eyes dart up at them.


 

 


 

Alyssa shifted her weight to one leg, and twirled a finger into her hair, “I was just wondering if you would help me with this Transfiguration assignment, McGonagall said you were the best at it.” She bit her lip playfully.



 

 

“Yeah, I can do that.” She broke into a grin, and, instinctually, he smiled back. “Bring your stuff over here, and we’ll get to work.”



 

 

She scampered away like an excited puppy, effortlessly ruining the sexy façade she had tried so hard to create.


 

 


 

Lily chuckled from her work. “What?” James questioned.


 

 


 

Lily looked up, “Nothing.” She shook her head gently, and went back to work.


 

 


 

James shook his head, and put his own work away. Just as he had finished clearing an area, Alyssa came scampering back. She set down her book, and her wand, and sat down.



 

 

“We’re supposed to be conjuring simple life forms,” she exclaimed, “but I just can’t do it!”



 

 

James and Lily both flinched at her screech. “Well, show me what you can do then.” She smirked a little before waving her wand in a complicated, elaborate motion. It produced nothing.



 

 

“See?” she screeched again, “I just can’t do it.”



 

 

“Well not waving your wand around like that, you can’t. It’s much more precise. Watch.” James himself performed the motion, and a perfect white mouse appeared, scurrying around the table.



 

 

“Oh. Like this?” She made the same motion as before, with the same result. She looked at James pathetically.



 

 

“No,” he rose from his chair and stood behind her, gripping her hand and her wand in his own. “Like this,” Slowly, he moved her arm in the correct way. He did it once more, and then let her try.



 

 

She produced an ugly, but living brown mouse. It scurried around with the one James had produced and the two began squeaking together.



 

 

“Oh, thank you James!” Alyssa leapt from her seat and pulled James into a tight embrace. From over her shoulder, James could see Lily unceremoniously vanishing the mice. As Alyssa pulled away, she left a peck on his cheek. He thought he saw a hint of anger in Lily, but she just looked back down at her work. Alyssa gathered her things and scampered away.


 

 


 

“Sorry about that,” he muttered as he sat back down and began to pull his work out of his bag.



 

 

“Don’t apologize for it.” Lily said kindly.



 

 

“I didn’t mean for that to be so…”


 

 


 

She looked up from her work, “Don’t apologize,” she smiled, “You’re perfectly free to flirt with whomever you like.”


 

 

Without any more ado, Lily went back to her work.



 

 




James was taken aback. He hadn’t been flirting with Alyssa. At least he didn’t think he had… Flirting was sometimes second nature to him. He didn’t realize he was doing it until someone (usually Remus) pointed it out to him. He certainly hadn’t meant to, anyway.



 

 

He opened his mouth to tell her he was sorry, but stopped before a sound could come out.


 

 


 

“Don’t apologize.”


 

 

 

That’s what she had said to him. For the first time that James could recall, Lily did not want him to apologize.


 

 

 

Lily always wanted him to apologize. Even when he hadn’t even done anything, he was constantly either apologizing, or refusing to apologize. Her not wanting him to was entirely new. 


 

 


 

And it completely caught him off guard.



 

 




Lily was angry. Furious, fuming, livid, irate, enraged and every other adjective that she simply could not be bothered with thinking up at the moment. She was that upset.


 

 


 

How dare that smarmy little slut invade their space and shamelessly throw herself at him like that? As if Lily wasn’t sitting right there with them. And how dare he let her!



 

 

She wanted to tell him off, tell him that it was not okay to flirt so shamelessly right in front of his… She couldn’t complete the sentence. What was she? Not girlfriend, certainly. Friend, maybe, but at this point it was undetermined. They were strictly partners.



 

 

She had absolutely no right to tell him what it was acceptable for him to do. He was free to do as he pleased. So that’s what she told him.


 

After regaining his composure, James was struck by confusion.

 


 

He and Lily shared a romantic, if untraditional, relationship. He knew she didn’t like to label it, but she could not deny that it was present.


 

 


 

It was wrong to flirt (even unintentionally) with someone else when in a relationship (no matter how untraditional). Especially right in front of them. If he were Lily, he would have been extremely angry, and he would have every reason to be. He would have shouted and demanded an explanation and an apology and even then given himself time and space to stew. Of course, he would have given into her much more quickly than he would have liked, but the sentiment remained the same.



 

 

Lily had every right to be angry with him.



 

 

Lily should have been angry with him.



 

 

But she wasn’t.


 

 


 

It was very confusing.
 


 

Wasn’t she jealous?


 

 


 

Wasn’t she upset in the least?


 

 


 

Didn’t she care at all?


 

 


 

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know the answers.


 






 The first Quidditch game of the year approached much more quickly than anyone but James had anticipated. This was usual, of course, as the excitement of the new school year always pushed Quidditch to the back of the mind. James though, had been counting down to this match, since he had last faced these opponents: Slytherin.


 

 


 

He drilled his team relentlessly; pushing them farther than they had ever gone before. Not one of them ever complained; they, just as much as James, were out for revenge.


 

 

 

The day of the matched dawned early, and the team marched in solitude to the pitch. There was no pep talk as they readied themselves; they all knew what they had to do.


 

 


 

They flew. Ferociously, viciously, almost savagely, taking no mercy on the Slytherin team. They took the quaffle by almost any means necessary, avoiding good sportsmanship to toe the rules. The keeper was on excellent form; he blocked nearly every shot at him. The cry of joy was almost too sweet for James to stand as their seeker closed his hand around the snitch.


 







“Dance with me.”


 

 


 

The victory party was in full swing. Music was blaring, people were dancing, there was a general hum of talking, occasionally interrupted by a victory cry.


 

 


 

He didn’t need to cut across the room, the Gryffindors parted like the Red Sea for the quidditch hero. She sat with her friends, talking and laughing, determinedly not looking at him. She turned slowly at the tap on her shoulder. She didn’t need to see who it was.


 

 


 

“Dance with me.”



 

 

Her expression was confused, and almost disappointed, “James.”


 

 


 

“Lily.” She raised her eyebrows and her expression changed to one of complete skepticism. “I’m not asking you to marry me. It’s just one dance.”


 

 


 

Cautiously, she placed her hand into the one he had extended for her, and let her lead him on to the dance floor. Immediately, the upbeat rock song that had been playing morphed into a slow, romantic number. James put a hand gently on her waist, and pulled her as close to him as she would allow. Lily cautiously put a hand on his shoulder, keeping their position formal, and at a safe distance. Slowly, they began to move to the music. 


 

 


 

James never let his eyes stray from her. She tried desperately to look at anything but him. Eventually her gaze met his molten gold eyes, and he broke into a grin. She couldn’t help but return it. Subconsciously, she moved a little closer to him.


 

 


 

“I’m really proud of you, you know.” She whispered. 


 

 


 

“For slaughtering the Slytherins? The pleasure was mine.”


 

 


 

She chuckled, “Well for that, of course, although your sportsmanship left a lot to be desired.” She cut off his objection, “But also for being such a great Head Boy. You’re really owning up to the responsibility.”


 

 


 

He smiled, “I’m doing it for you, you know.” She gave a small, sincere smile, and shook her head.


 

 


 

The song came to a close, and Lily pulled away from him. “It’s late, she said, I think I’m heading to bed.”


 

 


 

“Oh, goodnight, then.”


 

 


 

She did not respond, but turned, and mad her way through the crowd. He watched her leave, weaving through people, until she finally made it through, and began to ascend the staircase.


 

 


 

It took him almost a full minute to realize where she was going.



 

 






“It took you long enough.” She rose from his bed and met him halfway between the door and the bed.



 

 

“I thought you were going to bed?” He asked, kissing her before she could answer.


 

 


 

“I did go to bed.” She responded. She continued to kiss him and her hands went for the hem of his tee shirt.


 

 


 

“Pardon me for assuming it was your own.” His shirt fell to the floor; he pulled hers up as he moved closer to the bed.



 

 

“You should never assume you know.” She spun them around, and pushed him into a sitting position on the bed.



 

 

“Consider my lesson learned.” She climbed into his lap.


 

 


 

“Good.”


 

 


 

Somehow, they maneuvered so that they were both free of clothing and comfortably on his bed. James remained sitting; Lily straddled on top of him. Their foreheads and noses were pressed against each other; their eyes were perfectly and never broke contact. They moved in harmony, peacefully and beautifully. When it became too much for her, she moved away slightly, never breaking eye contact, and allowed him to watch her release before collapsing on his shoulder. She continued moving until James too had had his release, and even then remained resting on his shoulder.


 

 


 

She opened her eyes, taking in every detail. The way his hair was messier than usual, and the line it formed across his neck. The beads of sweat that glittered and occasionally rolled down his back. The way his whole body rose and fell with the deep breaths he was taking. The faint white lines splashed across his back that she had never noticed before. She ran a finger across one of them; he shuddered.



 

 

“What are they from?” she asked tenderly.



 

 

“I suppose saying ‘nothing’ is an unacceptable answer here.” She nodded her head,



 

 

“They’re from roughhousing with the boys.”



 

 

“Really?” she looked skeptical. James nodded. “Well, it saddens me to know I’m not the only lover in your life.”


 

 


 

He furrowed his brow in confusion. “But I just told you they’re from the boys.”


 

 


 

 She grinned mischievously. “Exactly.” The appalled look on his face sent her into hysterics. She fell away from him, which allowed James room to begin tickling her.


 

 


 

“Hey!” she shouted between laughs, “That is unnecessary!”



 

 

“It’s perfectly necessary!” James responded from his station hovering above her.


 

 


 

After a few shrieks and peals of laughter, Lily managed to regain her composure enough to catch James in a kiss. It was incredibly effective in stopping the tickling.


 

 


 

“That’s unfair.” James pouted.



 

 

“It’s perfectly fair.” Lily responded. Her remark spurred another round of laughter, which again concluded in a kiss. Lily rose and grabbed his hand, still chuckling,



 

 

“Come on!”


 

 


 

“What?” She pulled him from the bed.



 

 

“Let’s dance.”



 

 





Lily was frustrated.


 

 

 

She hadn’t met with James since the last quidditch match, and that had been more than a month ago. For the past two years, they had met as often as possible. This year, though, it seemed as if they were lucky to meet once every three weeks. It seemed as though their schedules were purposefully keeping them apart; and while they saw each other often, they rarely spent time alone.


 

 


 

She didn’t like it. 

 


 

She wanted badly to- ahem, have fun. She went through her options, but found none of them viable.


 

 


 

Picking a fight with him would no longer work. The pair had hardly argued at all this year, and every time they had had drawn a large crowd that refused to disperse the way that it used to.



 

 

The only time she saw him outside of class and head meetings, he was doing homework. She too was suffering from the overload of NEWT work, and understood that at this point, homework really needed to be finished. So she left him to it.


 

 


 

Every time she thought to surprise him after quidditch practice, she was scheduled to patrol the hallways.



 

 

None of their free periods were together.



 

 

After head meetings, they usually had more homework to do.



 

 

It was quite the dilemma.



 

 

She thought about it more, and came to the conclusion that, if she wanted to, well, you know, (and she did, very much), then she had to ask him.




 

 





“James!” she yelled as she sprinted down the deserted corridor, “James! Wait!”



 

 

He turned around as he registered who was calling for him. When she caught up to him, she lightly kissed him on the mouth. “I can’t right now, Lily, I have class.”



 

 

 “I know.” Her face fell slightly, but picked back up into a smile shortly, “but Friday, well, neither of us is scheduled to patrol, and I don’t think you have practice…”



 

 

“I can’t then, either.” He stopped her.




 

 

“Oh, okay, then.” She still smiled. “I guess we’ll have to find another time, then.”




 

 

Before he could agree, she turned on her heel and left.



 

 






 Of course.



 

 

Of course!


 

 


 

Of course this would happen.



 

 

Of course the one night that could be free to spend with Lily would happen to fall on the full moon.


 

 


 

Of course.



 

 






 Of course.
 
 

 

Of course!


 

 


 

Of course he would have something better to do.



 

 

How could she have been so rash? so stupid?


 

 


 

He was a busy man. She should have asked him when he was available.


 

 


 

But that sounds so formal, so desperate! 
 


 

She couldn’t have him thinking she was an idiot! Which he would have if the conversation had gone in that direction.


 

 

 

Of course.


 




 

 “Lily, wake up.” He kissed her lightly, and she responded a little, and opened her eyes.


 

 

 

“James?” Her voice was groggy, and her eyes would not open all the way.


 

 

“Yeah,” he kissed her again.

“I thought you couldn’t tonight.” She sat up to see him better.
 
“I couldn’t stay away.” He smiled. He wasn’t sure that she could see him. He thought she smiled too. “Meet me downstairs in five minutes.”
 


 

He made his way to the common room half expecting her to fall back asleep and leave him waiting. Merlin knew he was tired enough to fall asleep right there. He didn’t sit, knowing that if he did, he would be a goner.
 


 

It seemed like forever, but eventually Lily came stumbling down the stairs, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She slowly came right to him, wrapped her lovely arms around his neck and kissed him. She had obviously brushed her teeth, and the thought made him smile.



 

 

 “Come with me.”
 


 

“Where are we going?” she asked, she still had not let go of his neck.

“Just follow me.” She removed her arms, and he took her hand, gently pulling her with him.



He dragged her through the portrait hole and a maze of corridors. He hoped that at some point she would guess where they were headed, and the look of recognition on her face told him he was not disappointed. When they arrived at their favorite classroom, he opened the door to reveal mountains of pillows and blankets.

 
 

 

He saw Lily’s lips tilt into a smile, and heard her beautiful chuckle. “This is awkward and terribly romantic all at the same time.”



 

 

“Let’s just go with romantic, yeah?”



 

 

She smiled again, and answered him with a kiss.



 

 






  “Mmmmmmmmm” she murmured while nuzzling into his neck and kissing him briefly. He turned his head to kiss her lips. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. He remained looking at her. “Why don’t we do this more often?”


 

 


 

He didn’t speak, but responded by pulling her closer to him. He felt her smile against his neck. She whispered “I love making love to you.”



 

 

James found that he could not move.


 






He could not handle this any more.
 



 

 

He didn’t know where he stood with her. He was just a desperately in love with her as before, but didn’t know how to act around her anymore. She was different. She talked to him in public now, without yelling; she actually sought him out to do it. It seemed that she wanted to be friends. And they were definitely still- whatever it was they were before.




 

 

But she still didn’t want to date him.


 

 


 

And it didn’t make any sense to him.


 
 

 

Surely if she actually enjoyed spending time with him, and she still enjoyed “making love to him” as she said he did, then she would want to let everyone know.
 


 

But she didn’t.
 
And that phrase, “making love,” James didn’t know how to take it. He thought that it should be reserved for people who were in love with each other. He was in love with her, but he was fairly certain that it was one sided. He knew she wasn’t just saying it to have something call what they did, she had always thought of other ways before.


 

 

 

So the only conclusion that James could come to; was that she thought there was something more there, than she had before. The thought thrilled him, but only for a moment. He wanted there to be something more, but Lily still didn’t. Yet, she was acting like there was.



It was all very confusing.
 
And he couldn’t handle it anymore.

 

 







He feels her nose scratch against his stubble, and a smile through the light kiss she leaves on his jaw. Her finger moves to his chest, and begins to draw. Circles, flowers, stars and smiles; not hearts. Never hearts.

His glasses are still on, he breathes deeply and evenly. He isn’t sleeping, and despite his best attempts at faking, he’s sure she knows. He does not play with her; he couldn’t if he wanted to. Instead, he stares off into the canopy of her bed, thinking.

He feels her press into his side. He ignores it. She rolls away from him, and he can hear a yawn; through his peripheral vision, he can barely make out her stretching form. Again, he ignores it. She rolls on top of him, attempting to look into his eyes. “What’s the matter?”

 

 

“Nothing,” he mumbles, avoiding her gaze.



 

 

“You’re lying,” she scolds, playfully. Her finger moves to trace his face. “No secrets, remember?”



He can’t help but scoff. Their whole relationship is based on secrets.
 

“James,” she’s pleading with him, “what is it?"

 

 

He can’t take this anymore. He grunts and violently sits up. He knocks her off of him, but at this point, he doesn’t care. The curtains are thrown open, and he climbs out of bed. He searches frantically for his clothes. He doesn’t look at her; he’s sure to change his mind if he sees the hurt he knows is there. He finds his boxers and puts them on.



“James!” she begs. He can hear the tears in her voice.

He whips around and finally looks at her as he finishes pulling his trousers on. He really isn’t angry; he hopes that his face shows that. He is confused, and sad, and frustrated. He sighs and brings his hands to his face. Eventually, he pulls them up and through his hair.

He can’t find the words to say to her. He closes his eyes; her face isn’t helping him at all. He takes a deep breath, “I can’t do this anymore,” he finally says.
 

“W-what do you mean?” she stammers.
 

“This, this,” her hurt expression is robbing him of any words he might have had, “thing!” he spits at the only word that could possibly describe their situation. “Whatever it is. I can’t do it, Lily. Not anymore.”

 
She doesn’t speak. Her expression says it all for her. She knows what he’s talking about. He can’t face her any longer. He turns on his heel and walks away.

As the door closes behind him, he swears he can hear her cry.

 

 




 AN: This chapter is a gigantic win for me. YES! WE ARE FINALLY BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm pumped. And kind of sad, this means that it's almost over... :( But I'm happy to have made it this far! Yes! Anyway, please, please, please review!

Sunny
 
 
 
 


Chapter 11: Seventh Year, Part Three
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The tears do not stop falling. Eventually, they become quiet, and she is calm enough to dress herself, but droplets keep rolling from her eyes. She lies back in bed and catches the lingering scent of him. It is more than enough to renew her sobs.

She pulls the curtain closed around her, and inhales deeply. The sobs stop once again, but the tears continue rolling. She tries to breath in as much of his remaining scent as possible, tries to hold on to at least part of him, as even now he walks further out of her life.

Maybe she should have followed him. Perhaps if she had, he’d have come back with her, and they could make up, and make love, and cuddle, and never leave the bed for the rest of their lives. But she couldn’t. The look on his face had frozen her. He had meant every word he said to her. He can’t do this anymore. He can’t. And, as much as she wants to, she can’t force him to.

These thoughts haunt her as she cries herself to sleep.

 

 




He was not angry when he left. Really, as he closed the door to his relationship with Lily, and as he descended the stairs, he could not have mustered an angry thought toward her if he had wanted too. Even for the rest of the day, the only thing he felt was regret.

The sentiment changes quickly. The next day, he wakes up to find that annoyance has crept in during the night. Why did she drive him to this? They can be happy together, he is sure of this. Or he was, anyway. He is not sure of anything at this point.

His annoyance builds at breakfast. Perhaps he is expecting her to throw herself at him in the Great Hall, to somehow declare her love for him in a public fashion, because he wants her to want this to work as desperately as he does. But she doesn’t. He knows better than to actually expect this of her, but he never imagines her inaction will bother him so greatly.

At lunch, it actually becomes anger. She is there, which is understandable, because even in the midst of misery, one must eat. But she is not just eating. She is smiling. And laughing. And chatting with her friends as if nothing has happened at all. Doesn’t he mean anything to her? Does this not affect her at all? It pushes his annoyance over the edge and turns it into legitimate anger.

From then, every single moment that passes adds to it. When he sees her, it increases exponentially.

By the end of the week, he is positively furious.

 

 




She wakes early the next morning. The first thing in her head is a desperate hope that she has only had a terrible, terrible dream. The faint smell of James again creeping into her nostrils and the dampness of her pillow remind her that the previous nights events were, in fact, real.

The tears, which had stopped in the night, return with a vengeance. This time, though she is prepared, and is able to conquer them shortly.

Before she gets out of bed, she takes a deep breath. She takes all of the misery she is feeling, and pushes it down inside of her. She puts on the happy face she has perfected over the years. No one will guess that she is not the same happy Lily they are used to seeing. No one, except perhaps for James, will notice that anything is wrong. The mask will not slip once. Not until she is back in the privacy of her own bed, will she allow the tears to fall.

 

 




For Lily, breakfast is arduous. All of her roommates are still sleeping, so she goes alone. She does not expect him to be there; he himself is an early riser, but his friends are not and he rarely leaves their side. Nonetheless, she is relieved when she walks into the Great Hall to find it nearly empty. No sign of James anywhere.

She sits by herself, and begins to gently place food on her plate. As she is spreading marmalade on her toast, an owl drops The Daily Prophet in front of her. She has not read the paper in a while, it seems that she always has something more important to do. Today though, she does not, so she unrolls the news and begins reading.

The news is terrible. She knows there is a war going on, that people like Severus and his friends want to hurt people like her. She knows that their leader, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is quite powerful. She knows there have been attacks on Muggles and Muggleborns, just because of their parentage. She had almost mail ordered her supplies for the year due to freight.

But all of that knowledge did not prepare her for the stories within the newspaper. Muggles tortured. Aurors dead. Destruction, chaos, the Dark Mark. She had known that all of this was happening, but a lack of attacks on students families, and her occupied mind have put it out of her head. The paper brings her disturbingly back to reality; it absorbs and terrifies her.

A growl from her stomach breaks her concentration and reminds her to eat something. She finishes the food on her plate silently. The Hall has filled substantially by this point, and she feels a pair of eyes on her. She does not need to look to know who it is. Using all of her will power, she is able to keep her gaze away from him, from begging him with her eyes to please, please just come back to her. It takes most of the strength she has summoned before coming. As soon as the last morsel on her plate enters her mouth, she picks up her paper, and flees back to her dormitory.

Lunch is easier. Her roommates are awake, and so she goes with them. She has mostly regained her composure, and is prepared when she sees him as they are walking in. Again, with a great deal of strength, she is able to avoid eye contact.

She purposefully sits so that he is not in her view. Her friends laugh at her abruptness; she makes a joke to cover it. Her remark ignites banter from the other girls, and before she realizes it, Lily is joining in, and together they are joyfully chatting over a meal. It is a brief and wonderful break from the trials she is facing.

All too soon, they are done, and make their way back to their dorm. James is still there and it catches her by surprise. Without meaning to, she makes eye contact with him. It is an eternity in an instant.

Out of necessity, she avoids him for the rest of the day.

When night falls, she readies herself for bed, pulls the curtains closed, and once again, cries herself to sleep.

The rest of the week passes in a similar routine. It is a familiar one; she has perfected it numerous times. Wake up, avoid James. This time however, there is an addition. As the day draws to a close, she hides in her bed, and cries.

 

 




There is a quidditch match this weekend. Gryffindor is not playing, but Slytherin is, and James, as a team captain and avid Slytherin hater, is in attendance. Besides, he has friends on the Ravenclaw team, and will play them during their next match. He served a dual role, as supporter and spy.

The match is dull, and does not provide the distraction that James has hoped for. As much as he hates to admit it, Slytherin is obviously the better team, although the Ravenclaw team is rather young. Slytherin is up by one hundred forty when the Ravenclaw seeker, a rather small girl named Clinton secures a victory by catching the snitch.

James takes his time leaving the pitch. It provides him with a sanctuary, a break from the anger that is consuming him. By the time he finally leaves, it is empty.

He walks toward the castle alone, but as he is not ten yards away, a loud sound from behind him catches his attention. He turns, wand drawn, expecting to see an angry Slytherin player. Instead, he is greeted by the frustrated but friendly Ravenclaw captain.

“Goodness, Potter, what are you going to do, hex me?” She jokes.

He puts his wand away, “Sorry, Hirt. I was expecting a Slytherin.”

“Merlin, you don’t think they’re still here? I’d rather not face them if I can help it.” She begins walking, and James joins her.

“Nah,” he shrugs, “They’ve probably all gone to write their fathers about the injustice of it all.”

She rolls her eyes, “And for once, I wouldn’t blame them.”

“Why’s that? You one fair and square.”

“But they deserved it. We won on a cheap catch.”

“The catch was not cheap. It was just lucky timing.”

“Still.”

“You won.”

“On luck.”

“A win’s a win.”

“It’s not the same. It’d be nice to get something because we deserve it, you know?”

“You can’t think like that, Nina. If you won, it’s because you deserved it.”

She rolls her eyes again. “Fine, but for the record, you wasted your time spying today.”

He drops his jaw in mock offense, and clutches a hand to his chest. “That hurts, Hirt!” Her gaze narrows on him, he knows that she hates the association, “I did not come to spy. I came to support a dear friend.”

She raises her eyebrows. “A dear friend you haven’t talked to all year.”

“Well it’s not my fault you dropped the one class we had together.”

“Are you really still taking Care of Magical Creatures?”

“Yes, in fact I am.” She chuckles at him, “What? It’s a good class!”

The two continue their banter until they reach the castle, and even then walk with each other until their paths must split.

“Well, James,” Nina says, “It was lovely catching up with you.” She smiles, “Maybe we should do it again sometime.”

“Indeed.” He says, he knows what she’s doing. In another life, he might have played along, as it is, he can’t possibly date someone else. “We should.” It is only his manners speaking. He notices her smile fade slightly. “Have fun at your victory party!”

She scoffs playfully, “Thanks. See you around then.” She turns and begins to walk away.

James notices that he is in the same hallway as the classroom where he and Lily had spent so much time. The anger that the quidditch match and conversation with an old friend had pushed aside rose again, and James is struck with an idea. Why shouldn’t he? There is absolutely no reason he can’t. Nina is perfectly nice, and quite pretty, and always fun. She obviously isn’t embarrassed by him.

She is nearing the end of the corridor. He yells out her name and walks toward her. She stops and helps close the gap between them.

“Yes?”

“How about we catch up again sometime this week?” he asks.

She smiles, “I can do that.”

“Is Wednesday night around eight good for you?”

“Cutting it rather close to curfew, isn’t it?” He clucks his tongue and points to the HB pin on his robes. She chuckles, “Right, Wednesday at eight sounds great.”

“Great, now go enjoy your victory party,” he commands.

“Bye, James.” And again, she turns to walk away.

James walks past their classroom, and kicks the door as hard as he can.

 




AN: Short, yes. But no worries! The next chapter will be up soon!
 
 


Chapter 12: Seventh Year, Part Four
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"I have a date." He speaks it like a confession. A truth he might know, but will hardly admit freely.

Sirius looks up from the project at his desk. Remus puts down the book he is reading. Peter pushes his homework aside.

"Shit." Remus says. "It's about time."

"Who with?" Peter asks.

Sirius remains silent.

"Evans, obviously," Remus responds before James can.

"No." This stuns all of them. Even Sirius.

"Well who is it, then?"

"Nina Hirt."

"The Ravenclaw quidditch captain," Peter informs them.

"The very same."

Remus and Peter nod in approval. Sirius finally speaks up. "Why?" he asks the only question James needs to answer.

"Because I can." He responds.

"I thought you were finally getting somewhere with Evans?"

"No," he snaps. His tone then softens. "I wasn't."

 

 





It is fading. The only thing that James had left when he walked out of the door, and the thing which Lily is still clinging to, is slowly but surely making its exit.

She had charmed her pillow that first night, not everlasting, but enough to help the scent linger just a little longer. Enough to help her though when she missed him the most.

Now it is fading, and it really, really bothers her. She isn't ready to be without it yet, and the charm will only work once.

Perhaps it is for the best, she thinks, maybe it is finally time to let go. She entertains the idea for half a day, and really, truly, starts to believe it.

Then, at lunch, a first year runs up to him and thanks him so so so so so so much for helping him with his Transfiguration, and Lily decides that there is no way in Hell she can let him go.

She has to talk to him. To find any way to salvage what they had. Any aspect of it. The sex, the kissing, the fighting, the laughing, the friendship—all of it would be preferable, but she wouldn't turn down any single part either. She misses him; all of him, not having him in her life is just too much to bear.

Luckily, the perfect opportunity to speak to him is approaching.

 

 





At fifteen minutes to seven o'clock on Wednesday evening, James can be found scanning over ever article of clothing he owns. If his friends found him, they would label him a pansy immediately, and truthfully, James is feeling rather girly anyway. He shouldn't be obsessing about how he looked for his date; guys don't do that, do they? He honestly doesn't know. For all of his seventeen years and all of his experience with women (or a woman, as the case may be), James has never actually been on a date before. He isn't exactly sure what's appropriate.

He hears the door open and thinks that he is doomed to this ridicule for the rest of his life. He turns around to find Sirius, only him, and he is eternally grateful. "Need some help, Prongs?" he asks.

He tries to deny it with his expression, but gives up fairly quickly, "Yeah."

"I remember my first date," he says as he scans over the clothes laid out on James' bed. "Bird was bloody annoying."

James chuckles at his friend, "I remember too. You snogged her at least, didn't you?"

Sirius hands him a royal blue button up, "Only to get her to shut up."

The two laugh as James pulls the shirt on and buttons it up. "I thought you liked her at the time?"

Sirius rolls his eyes up in thought, "I liked her availability. She was convenient and mildly attractive, and I thought it was about time I saw what the whole dating thing was about."

"Didn't like it?" he questions jokingly.

"She's put me off it forever."

"That bad?"

"Nah, not really. I just don't think it's all it's cracked up to be, really." James sends him a questioning look. "It just wasn't anything special. Maybe she wasn't. I dunno." James sends him another look, "What I'm trying to say, is: don't fuck things up."

The two laugh again. "Hey, don't you have a meeting with Evans tonight?"

"Shit!"

 

 





Lily sits at their table in the Library very patiently. They had set the meeting several weeks prior to the incident, and she wonders if he has forgotten. No, he doesn't forget. But he is usually late, so she is not surprised when, at ten minutes after seven, he has still not arrived.

She reaches into her bag and pulls out the supplies they need. Quills, ink, parchment, the meeting is standard, writing up a few schedules and the like.

Lily is nervous. It is the first time she has talked to him, or even been anywhere near to him since that night. She guesses that it will be awkward; she doubts that they will laugh and joke like they usually do. She realizes that it will be strictly business, but she hopes that James might be open to a bit of conversation. Not a lot. Just an apology, perhaps a proposition.

At twenty minutes past seven, her attention is caught by James dramatically opening the walking in. She smiles warmly at him- he does not return it. He is moving quickly, the door bangs shut loudly behind him. He storms over to the table, forcefully pulls out the chair, and slams himself down into it. Before she can speak he blurts out, "Look, Evans, can we make this quick? I have somewhere to be."

She is taken aback. She blinks several times, and then responded, "Yeah, yeah, there's not much to do. It shouldn't take long."

The pair works, talking as little as possible. James continually checks his watch and drums his fingers on the table. Eventually it drives Lily slightly mad, "James, where do you have to be? I can finish this myself if it's that important."

He smiles wickedly. "I have a date, Evans." She cannot prevent her eyes from becoming very large, "You do know what that is, don't you?" He continues ill advisedly, "Two people spend time together. Usually in public. Other people see them, and no one cares about it."

She is having a very hard time forming words. "Go then," she finally blurts out, "wouldn't want you to be late for that."

He collects his things, "Thanks, Evans." And leaves.

 

 





Nina is waiting for him in the Great Hall, exactly where he said he'd meet her yesterday when they worked out the kinks for their "catching up." She is wearing a purple dress, and looks very nice.

He walks toward her and they greet each other with a "Hey," and a hug. Her hair tickles his chin; she's much shorter than he is.

"So," she says as they pull apart, "Where are we going?"

"Well," He looks down at her, "Fancy some dessert?"

She smiles, "I could go for some,"

"Excellent," he offers her his arm, "Right this way, then."

He takes her down into the basements, and he can tell by her expressions that she's never been here before. "Where are we going?" she asks.

"It's a surprise," he tells her.

They continue walking until they come to the end of a hallway with a very large painting of a bowl of fruit. Nina's look of confusion intensifies.

"See the pear?" She nods, still very confused, "Go tickle it."

"What?" he gestures to it again, "Why?"

"Just do it." He chuckles.

"No. Something's going to jump out at me or something." She takes a few steps back and shakes her head.

"Nothing of the sort will happen to you." He takes her hand and pulls her gently forward.

"Years of experience tell me otherwise." She is still very apprehensive.

"Don't you trust me?"

"Not really." She laughs at his look of horror.

"Fine then, I'll just have to do it." He states very matter-of-factly.

"That's really okay with me." She mutters as he walks up to the portrait and tickles the pear. To her great surprise, the pear giggles and then… turns into a doorknob. She steps walks up to the portrait, absolutely fascinated. James takes the handle, turns it, and opens the door for her. Her eyes widen in wonder. James smirks. "Oh, my!"

 

 





Tonight, the tears stop flowing far more quickly than she expects. There is no dramatic conclusion or spectacular finality; they simply stop. One moment she is sobbing uncontrollably, and the next she is simply staring. They have been consistently shorter each night, but Lily finds it odd, that after the events of the evening it should be the shortest yet.

Her mind is not working, as it should be. She is not exactly thinking, just sitting on her bed and staring. When she becomes more aware of her surroundings, memories flood her; the tears threaten to start again and she decides that she really wants nothing to do with her bed at the moment. Instead, she moves to the windowsill, where she crams her body uncomfortably on the ledge and stares peacefully out the window.

The sun is sinking slowly beneath the lake and the remaining rays set the snowy ground beautifully aglow. A few flakes are dancing merrily to the ground, joyous and unique for a few precious moments, only to be lost amongst his brothers when his glorious ride ends. It is an exquisite scene, she realizes with absolute certainty. She squeezes her eyes shut in an effort to commit the sight to memory. When she brightly reopens them, she is taken aback to find that the scene has very rudely changed.

The sun is finished with setting, and darkness now covers what had been so brightly lit just moments before. The night is starless, the glow of an almost full moon is apparent through dark clouds that have quietly crept into place. More snow is falling, forcefully now, rather than the gleeful flakes of before. The wind is howling; she watches as a strong gust whips powder from the ground and shakes it around. It almost sparkles by the dim light of the hidden moon.

The blanket of darkness is covering her too. She sinks into it, hiding like a child.

One by one, her roommates trickle in. If they notice the shadowed figure near the window, they do not acknowledge her presence. She is thankful for this, inquiring minds and well-intended hearts are the last things she wants right now.

She falls farther into the darkness. She becomes one with the night. It becomes a comfort to her, almost a friend. It hides her from all that she cannot face, her roommates, her former lover, her feelings, herself. As long as she is in the dark, she is at peace. There are no deadlines or meetings to attend. There are no people to please or social rules to adhere to. There are no feelings and there is no rejection. There is no love; there is no hate. There is no sadness. There is no happiness. There is no James. There is only herself- only Lily- her window, and her serenity.

She doesn't know how long she sits there for. She doesn't know if she dozes off at some point. All she knows is that the scene before her is beautiful, and that no matter how picturesque it is; in an instant the wind will blow or clouds will shift, and the scene will change. It will be different, but no less beautiful from before. Somehow, probably because of the dark, she is okay with this.

Several thousand exquisite scenes later, Lily notices that the sky is not quite as dark as it was before. It does not bother her. It is still beautiful. Soon though, the sky is not blue at all. It has shifted from brooding navy to brilliant pink, and she panics. It isn't supposed to change that drastically, that quickly, not yet. She still needs it to be dark. It can't be morning yet, she had just gotten used to the night. She isn't ready for it.

And then she realizes.

 

 





AN: So, It's another shorty, it's kind of like the second half of chapter eleven. But not really. Don't worry though, the next chapter is written and will be posted asap!

Oh, and if you get the chance, would you mind checking out my other stories? Death's Manual and Fairytalesque are next in line to be written, and I'd love to know what you guys think!

Love, Sunny
 
 


Chapter 13: Seventh Year, Part Five
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Her mind is racing. She has to do something, but she isn’t sure what. James, she has to see James. She has to talk to James. Except it’s seven o’clock in the morning and James, like her roommates, and most normal people are sleeping. Sleep, right. Sleep is good. She doesn’t have time for sleep. Because she has class today. Classes she cannot talk to James during because she is too busy learning. And because James is only in one of them today anyway.

She needs to organize her thoughts. She sits down and inhales deeply. James. She cannot do anything about him right now, so she puts him to the side. Sleep. Sleep would be wonderful, but if she falls asleep now, she will sleep through all of her classes. Classes, they start in two hours, which gives her plenty of time to get ready. Getting ready. It’s necessary, feasible, and a good use of her time right now.

She takes her time in the shower. The warm water soothes the muscles which have cramped after sitting in the same position for so long. She allows the scent of violets to fill her nose as she washes her hair. She scrubs her body with odorless soap and relishes the clean feeling it leaves her with. The towel is especially soft against her skin, and she uses it for longer than normal before magically drying herself.

She adds a bit of eye shadow to her usual mascara and eye liner. As an afterthought, she adds a swipe of pink lipstick too. She does her hair meticulously. She starts with it straight, and then adds very loose curls. A look in the mirror satisfies her.

At quarter past eight, she gathers her things, and makes her way to breakfast alone. She hopes that James is there, though once the thought enters her head, she realizes that if he is, she has no idea what she would say to him.

I’m sorry. I want to be with you. I hate not having you in my life and I’m not sure how much longer I can take it. Please, please, please forgive me.

They are all givens. They are all necessary. She doesn’t think they’re enough. They don’t convey her emotions, her desperation, though she thinks that it may be impossible to do that with words.

She continues her path in a trance, shaping and refining the words she wants to say when the time comes. At the entrance to the Great Hall, she briefly comes out of her stupor, scans the Gryffindor table for a head of messy black hair, finds none, and slips back in. It is short-lived; however as a group of giggling Ravenclaws behind her ruin her concentration.

“So, how was it?” Someone asks suggestively.

“It was,” the voice pauses, “It was good.” The tone implies that “good,” is probably not the best word.

“Only good?” The first voice is trying to pull something from the second voice that the second voice is not easily giving up.

“Did you shag?” A third voice asks the question the first one had been hinting to, and Lily chokes on the pumpkin juice she had been drinking.

“No!” the second voice is very offended, “It was only our first date!”

“You went on a date with James Potter,” Lily starts to pay significantly more attention, “And you didn’t shag him?”

No.” Lily tries frantically to place the voice. She knows it’s familiar, from her year or a prefect, she doesn’t know any other Ravenclaws.

“I thought everyone who dated James Potter shagged him.” Lily stabs her eggs rather hard.

“Well, I didn’t.” Not a prefect, none of the Ravenclaw prefect’s sound that superior. “We hardly even kissed, actually.” There is a collective gasp, “Just a peck on the cheek at the end.”

“Well, are you going to see him again?” Lily no longer cares which friend is asking the questions.

“I don’t know yet,” She is definitely, definitely from Lily’s year. Which one, which one, Lily racks her brain.

“Nina!” the group explodes in laughter.

Nina?!

 

 




Nina Hirt.

Nina Hirt.

Nina Hirt?

Really? James went on a date with Nina Hirt. Nina Hirt!

The thought plagues her through all of double Arithmancy with the Slytherins, and Ancient Runes with the Hufflepuffs.

Nina Hirt.

Lily knows her, of course. They have had several classes together over the years. The two don’t really get along. They do not hate each other by any means, but, in a crowded room where they knew no one but each other, they would both decide it is the time to make new friends.

She doesn’t understand what he sees in her. Lily guesses she is attractive enough, rather short though, and her nose is quite pointed. She is very friendly, usually good for a laugh. Quidditch captain. She supposes that these are the qualities that jump out at James.

But doesn’t he realize how arrogant she is? Nina Hirt thinks that everything she does is better than what anybody else does. If her essay does not receive the top mark, it is because the teacher is playing favorites. She scores nearly every goal for her quidditch team, and the others are only achieved by direct involvement by her. Not shagging James on the first date was the proper thing to do, because she had done it. If she had shagged James, Lily is certain that the same tone of superiority she used with her friends would be there. If, per chance, she is not perfect in some way, she will constantly bring it up in the hopes that someone will contradict her.

Lily is also irritated by Nina Hirt’s inability to stand up for what she believes in. If asked, Nina will always, always say that any form of bullying is wrong; however during any bullying, Nina can be seen in the crowd, laughing, and doing nothing to stop it. She believes in Muggleborn rights, except for when speaking to someone who does not. Werewolves are people too, but the law says that they can’t have jobs, so that’s the way it should be. Lily cannot stand that.

But what absolutely infuriates Lily the very most about Nina Hirt, is that, for whatever reason, James likes her.

 

 




After another grueling hour of potions, during which Lily almost falls asleep and nearly ruins her potion, Lily is ever grateful when the lunch bell rings.

Two of her roommates are in the class with her, and the group walks down the corridors together. The two are chatting animatedly, and Lily is nodding and laughing at the appropriate times, but is otherwise not contributing. They don’t seem to mind.

At the entrance to the Great Hall, Lily once again scans Gryffindor table for a mess of black hair, and finds none. She sits with the rest of her dormitory, and eats quickly. She scans the door periodically, still searching for James.

Somehow she manages to miss his entrance. She doesn’t see him sit down or start to eat. She doesn’t see his quiet conversation with Sirius. When she does see him rise and greet Remus and Peter in between the tables, she is momentarily astounded that her careful scanning has failed her.

She sees her opportunity, and immediately decides to act on it. She rises, despite the strange looks she is receiving. “Potter!” she yells.

His back is toward her and he does not turn around. She walks quickly toward him, receiving more and more strange looks, and ignoring every one of them. “Potter!” she yells again. He still does not turn around. “James.” She places a hand on his shoulder, and he cannot ignore her any longer.

“Can I help you, Evans?”

“I just wanted to let you know,” she is suddenly acutely of every pair of eyes in the room on her, she forgets everything that she has planned to say, “that I,” she falters, then starts again, “that I fancy you,” she tries to ignore the collective gasp, “and I think we should go out sometime.”

Every one, including James is looking at her like she has an extra head. She pushes past him and his friends as suavely as she can manage, and walks toward the door. Before she is halfway there several people yell, “Evans!”

She turns around to see Sirius, Remus, and Peter, gesturing at her to come forward. James has not moved. “Yes?” She steps back toward them.

Sirius responds, “He’s free right now.” Remus turns James around and pushes him slightly forward.

“Is that so?”

James blinks rapidly, “I- yeah.” He nods.

“Shall we take a walk, then?”

“Yeah,” he is regaining his composure. “I think that’d be good.”

He meets up with her, and the pair exit, ignoring the whispers that follow them.

They decide the Lake is the best venue, though it is cold, and neither of them has their cloak.

To the doors, and even on the path to the water, the pair chats aimlessly. Their days have been good so far. Quidditch practice has been going well. Yes, the weather is beautiful. It is not until the reach the waters edge that James speaks what has been on his mind.

“So, what is this about, really?”

A small smile passes her lips, “It’s about me fancying you, really.” He raises an eyebrow at her. “It is! I fancy you. I like you. I have a crush on you. I have feelings for you.” He doesn’t respond, so she continues, “And I know,” everything is rushing to her at once, and she wishes there was a way to simply pour it out of her, but there isn’t, “I know that I’ve been really, really, really dreadful to you, but I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” He is showing no emotion, “I just, I want to be with you, James. In public, in private, and everywhere in between. I’ll scream it from the rooftops. Please, James.” He looks away from her, “Please.”

He runs a hand through his hair, and lets out a frustrated sigh. Lily gently walks closer to him and puts a soothing hand on his shoulder. He shrugs it off. “This isn’t fair, Lily.”

“W-what?”

“This isn’t fair! You catch me off guard and apologize like that because you know I’ll always forgive you. Because I just can’t say no to you, can I?” He moves farther away from her, “But I can’t do this with you again. I can’t. I won’t. No, Lily.”

“James,” he turns and begins to walk back to the castle, “James, please!” she begins to walk after him, but he is much faster. Before he gets too far she yells, “The world won’t wait for us, James!” He stops, “It won’t stop until you realize that you need me in your life. You need me every bit as much as I need you, James, and I need you like air.” He doesn’t move an inch, tears are stinging her eyes. “Sometimes you just need to forgive and forget, even if you don’t want to, because you never know what will happen. Especially now.”

He finally turns to face her, takes a few steps forward, “I know that, Lily.” His voice is soft, hurt but not angry, “I know all of that. But sometimes ‘sorry’ just isn’t enough.” He turns again and begins to walk away.

“Then what is enough?” he turns back to look at her, “Tell me, and I’ll do it.” She catches up to him, “I’ll do anything, if we can just please be together.”

He drops the hand she has picked up. “No, Lily! Don’t you get it? I can’t do this. I can’t. It hurts too much. You hurt me too much. I can’t. We can’t. No.”

They stare at each other in silence for a moment. Her eyes are pleading with his, emerald begging hazel.

“Then what can we be?” His look of determined sadness morphs to one of confusion, “If we can’t be together, can we be… something? Lovers? Friends? Acquaintances?” His expression is now blank, “I just, I need you in my life. I want you in my life. I miss you. I miss all of you. And I want all of you in my life again, but if that can’t happen, I’ll take any part you’ll give.”

He runs a hand through his hair, “I don’t know, Lily.” He turns and makes his way back to the castle.

This time, she doesn’t call after him.

 

 




“Lily, wake up.” The voice is stern. She doesn’t want to wake herself, but the voice is also slightly intimidating. She squeezes her eyes together and then opens them. James is standing over her. She is very confused. She rubs her eyes, thinking maybe it is drowsiness playing tricks on her. She discovers him again, but still not sure, she closes her eyes and stretches out. It leads to the discovery that she is on a couch, and –gah!—her muscles are very sore. James is still there when she sits up. “Are you trying to will me away?” he cracks half a smile.

“Never.” She yawns, “I was just making sure I’m not seeing things.” He can’t hold in the chuckle in the sound makes Lily smile. “What time is it?”

“Four thirty.”

“Shit. I’ve missed my classes, haven’t I?” She is oddly calm.

“Not any important ones.”

“They’re all important, James.”

He chuckles again, “Whatever you say.”

“Exactly.”

They fall into a comfortable silence, but as the memory of their last conversation seeps over them, it quickly becomes awkward.

“So,” James starts. Lily clings to his words. “I’ve been thinking about our conversation all day.”

“Yeah?” he nods, “And?”

“And, you’re right.” He stares into the fire, “I hate to admit it, but you’re right. I need you like I need air.” He looks back at her, full of desperation, “But, we can’t be like we’ve been-“

“I don’t want that at all,” she interrupts.

“No, we can’t be like we’ve been at all. I’m dating someone and-“

“You went on a date with someone,” she corrects, “you went on a date with Nina Hirt,” she almost grimaces as she says it, “That doesn’t constitute dating.”

“Do you have a problem with Nina? And what we had wasn’t exactly dating either.”

“I’m not her biggest fan.” She looks away, “And it could be.”

He decides it’s time to change the subject. “Anyway, we can’t… do the things we’ve been doing.” Her face falls, “We can’t be together.” He looks at her with large, sad, eyes. “But we can be friends.”

She smiles slightly. “Okay,” she holds out her hand for him to shake, “friends.”

He stands, grabs her hand and pulls her up. “Friends hug.” He says, wrapping his arms around her.

“Right,” she says, looping her arms around his torso, “Friends hug.”

But the two stand there, holding each other, for far longer than any hug of friends

 




AN: Bam. UPdated again! Go me! Woo! Anyway, The next chapter is almost done, and should be up soon, hopefully. 

Please review!

Love, Sunny 
 
 


Chapter 14: Seventh Year, Part Too Many
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He has to do it. He is reasoning with himself, because he isn’t necessarily sure that what he’s doing is right.

It is on one level, certainly. But then, it is certainly wrong on one level too.

It is what he needs, he knows. He also knows it is not what he wants in the slightest.

He wants to say yes to her, as she’s apologizing and begging him to take her back. He wants to run to her, take her in his arms and not ever let go. He wants to date her, hug her, kiss her, make love to her. He wants to hold her hand in the hallway. He just wants to be with her, in everyway they were before, and everyway she’s offering now.

But he can’t. Because, if he does that, if he runs back to her the way he always has, everything will be the same. He will still cling to her desperately, and she will still walk all over him. He can’t do that anymore.

So, reason wins out and he does what he needs to; he tells her no, and walks away.

Later, he decides that she has a point; he needs her. She drives him to his worst, yes, but when things were good (and they could be good), she brings out his very, very best. He lets her back in, gives her a foot in the door. He tells her they can be friends, though they both know that they will never be just friends. Then he hugs her, and holds her, close and tight, because he knows it will be the last time for a while, at least.

When he finally makes his way to bed, he is certain that Lily Evans is going to be the death of him.

 

 




“Oi, why didn’t you tell us?” Mary MacDonald accosts her as Lily entered the dormitory from the bathroom. She had been the first to bed, and the first to rise, and thus her roommates were only now able to question her.

“Tell you what?” Lily replied.

“That you fancy James Potter, of course!” Ella chimed in.

“I didn’t really think about it.” She lies. Of course she thought about. She hardly thinks of anything else lately.

“What do you mean you didn’t think about it? Didn’t you know that this is very important information?”

“I didn’t think about it.”

“Well, you could’ve at least told us you were going to ask him out.” Mary says sardonically.

“Well, I didn’t think about that either.” The two girls eyes grow. The remaining members of the dorm are listening while getting ready for the day, “It was completely unpremeditated. It was also a very bad idea.”

“You didn’t think about it at all?” Molly Fletcher asks. Lily shakes her head.

“You just did it? On a whim?” Aurora Burton is speaking now.

“Well, like I said, it was a very bad idea.” The girls are stunned into silence, “I probably should’ve told you though. Maybe then you would’ve stopped me.” They all shake their heads, “Really, you would’ve just let me do it?”

“You were really determined, Lily.” Ella reminds her.

“And it was bloody funny,” Mary adds.

“I appreciate the love, guys.”

“We do too, Lily,”

“Now tell us what happened!” Molly demands.

“Nothing special,” she informs them, “we went for a walk, and talked, and decided we should just be mates.”

“Just mates?” All of them ask, nearly as one. She nods.

“Just mates?” Aurora asks again. Lily nods once more, “You practically declare your undying love for him in front of the entire Great Hall, and he just wants to be mates?”

“Well, he’s seeing someone,” Lily defends.

“Why?” Mary asks.

“Whom, is the better question,” Ella corrects.

“Nina Hirt, and because he fancies her, I’d assume.”

“No, he doesn’t.” Lily looks confused. “He fancies you he always has. Everyone knows it.” Lily looks at Molly as though she is mad. “What? It’s true.”

“Well, he must’ve moved on.” And as she says it, she realizes it, and suddenly all Lily wants to be alone. “I think I fancy a walk,” she says.

She exits the room immediately, leaving her roommates utterly bewildered.

She walks gracefully down the stair and into the common room. As soon as she leaves the portrait hole she is running. She is not sure where she is going, but she is getting there quickly.

Her strides are long and clumsy. Her red mane is flying out behind her, and her breaths are hard and uneven. Her heart is beating quickly.

She doesn’t know how long she runs for; it seems a second and an eternity at once. Eventually she finds an alcove hidden from the view of the corridor. She enters and slides down the wall.

“He’s moved on.” She whispers to herself. She is too late. A tear falls down her face. He’s gone, and there’s nothing she can do. He’s moved on. She should too.

But she won’t. And she knows it as soon as she thinks it. She won’t move on. She can’t. She doesn’t want to. She will wait, days or weeks or months or years, she will wait just as patiently as he did. She’ll be his mate, and long from afar. He’ll come around eventually, and she will wait for him.

But this, she decides as the tear splashes on her knee, is the last tear she will shed for James Potter.

 

 




“Hey, James.” She says sweetly as she takes a seat next to him on the couch. He is reading a book, a muggle title Lily has heard of, but never read. “What are you reading?”

He puts it down, “Oliver Twist, have you ever read it? It’s for Muggle Studies.”

“I haven’t. It’s usually assigned in schools, but thanks to this wonderful establishment, I have escaped it.”

“Lucky you.” She chuckles, “It’s bloody boring. Don’t read it.”

“Well of course it is. It’s Dickens. He’s kind of bland. Don’t cut him out though, he did some rather brilliant work.”

“You’ve read other stuff by this bloke?” He looks at her quizzically. “Why?”

“Tradition.” She smiles, “My dad used to read us A Christmas Carol every year on Christmas Eve.”

“And you liked it?” He’s looking at her in utter disbelief.

“Yes. You can’t insult it until you’ve read it.” She scolds.

“I’ll have to read it then.” She nods in agreement.

They both smile.

“Say, now that I’ve saved you from the torture that is Oliver, are you busy? I need some help with Transfiguration.”

His face falls, “I can’t right now, I’ve got to meet Nina soon.”

“Why?” she asks before she can stop herself, “you could stay here with me. I’m sure it’d be way more fun.”

His eyes narrow in annoyance, “Lily, we’ve talked about this.”

“I know,” she sighs, “just take it as a friendly reminder that I’m here and available should you change your mind.” She smiles mischievously. Maybe waiting patiently wasn’t exactly her forte.

“Lily.” His expression says it all. He’s seeing Nina and there’s nothing she can do. Nothing is going to change.

“Right,” she concedes, “Go have fun with Nina. I’ll find someone else to help me.”

He rises to leave, “I’ll help you when I get back, I promise.”

“I’ll be here.” She assures him as he walks away.

This is going to be harder than she thought.

 

 




It’s not right. She knows that it’s not. There’s just- there’s something missing, and she’s not sure what it is. They get on very well; she thoroughly enjoys the time she spends with him. But it’s just not right.

Maybe, maybe something is there and she just isn’t feeling it yet. Maybe when he kisses her, really kisses her, she’ll see fireworks, and then she’ll know that it is right. Maybe that’s all it will take.

Or maybe, something really is missing, because they’ve been seeing each other for two weeks now, and he still hasn’t even tried to go beyond the practically chaste pecks they’ve been giving each other so far.

She knows which is more likely.

She’s tried to reason it away. He’s waiting for the right moment. He wants to take things slow. He’s nervous because, as far as she knows, he’s never actually dated another girl, and maybe he’s never kissed one either. He doesn’t know how to translate his passion physically. She hopes that it’s true, but in her heart, she knows it’s probably not.

What’s more, she doesn’t know if she even wants to snog him. She’s attracted to him, certainly, and she’s sure that it would be good; it might change the dynamic between them. True, it might well be a good thing- it could prove her wrong, tell her that there is something there. But it might also tell her that there’s not. She isn’t actually sure which one she would prefer.

She wants to want there to be a spark, but she isn’t really sure. Because this is James Potter she’s talking about. James her friend and rival who made her laugh in Care of Magical Creatures, and trash talked her before a quidditch match. This is James her… boyfriend? James and Nina. Nina and James. There just isn’t a ring to it.

It just isn’t right.

She sees him sometimes, at Gryffindor table, or in the Library studying. She watches, because everything about him is infectious, his laugh, his style, is very presence. The pure joy on his face when he’s with his friends brings a smile to her own. Sometimes, he sees her, and makes eye contact, and flashes that beautiful smile at her. It doesn’t put butterflies in her stomach or a tingling on her skin. Sometimes, she sees him with Evans. She wants to hate it, but she can’t, because when they’re together, they positively glow with glee.

He’s never like that when he’s with her.

It isn’t right.

But maybe it could be? Maybe she could make him that happy. Maybe he could make her that happy.

She knows it isn’t right.

She dates him anyway.

 

 




“Did you hear the one about the two hippogriffs in a bar?”

“Yes.” She ignores him, trying to focus on her work, but failing miserably.

“What about the one about the house elf’s wand?”

“Twice,” she looks up at him, “And it’s disgusting.” She tries to fight back a smile.

“Aye, but that’s what makes it so funny.” He looks at her seriously.

She chuckles despite herself, and James smirks. “Did you hear about the wizard who wouldn’t stop telling bad jokes?” she asks him.

“No, no I haven’t.” He responds.

“All his mates cut of their own ears so they wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore.” She says, looking back at her book.

James doesn’t laugh, “Well, that’s dumb. Why didn’t they just cut out his tongue?”

Lily smiles, “Aye, because” she looks at him, “His tongue can do other things… useful things…” she grins wickedly. He raises and eyebrow at her skeptically, “I could show you, but,” she leans in and whispers, “I don’t think your girlfriend would appreciate it.”

“Clever,” he deadpans.

“I do my best.”

That’s the best you can do?”

“I learned from you.”

“You must’ve failed the class.”

“Nonsense,” she looks up, “I’m your star pupil.”

“Yeah, you’re a star alright,” He rolls his eyes, obviously avoiding eye contact. He leans in close and pats her hand, “Everyone is special.”

She turns to him in offense. He chuckles, “And that is how it’s done.”

Lily fights back, but the laughter overtakes her, and soon there’s a tear rolling down her face. James has joined in, his own deep laughter weaving melodiously with her high-pitched giggles. Soon the librarian reprimands them for making so much noise, and the pair leaves with minimal work done, and aches in their stomachs.

 

 




The warm water soothes his muscles after a particularly rough quidditch practice. He cleans quickly, but he remains, allowing the knots to untie themselves, and the water to clear his mind. He attempts to rub out a particularly sore spot on his neck, realizes he is only making it worse, turns around and lets the water take care of it.

He opens his eyes, and she is there. White tee shirt, tight jeans, luscious red locks falling around her face. Her green eyes glint mischievously, a smirk grown on her face. He is suddenly very aware that he is in the shower, facing her, and she can see everything. He blushes; she grins a bit bigger.

She takes a step toward him. Then another, then another. Soon, she is standing directly in front of him, water darkening her hair, making her shirt translucent. He guiltily scans her body, thanking Merlin for the magic of water on white shirts, then his eyes lock on her face. She isn’t wearing make-up, he notices, and she has never looked so beautiful. Beads of water cling to her eyelashes, she blinks them away quickly. He brushes a drop away from her cheek with his thumb. She covers his hand with her own. “I love you.” She says softly.

And then, before he knows what is happening, they are kissing, and it’s the most glorious thing in the world. Their tongues are dancing, her hands are everywhere, and without realization, clothes are being shed. They stop suddenly, and he looks at her. She looks back, and they both smile at each other. Of all the beauty in front of him, her smile is his favorite. Their eyes do not break contact with each other. Hands find each other and fingers lace. Smiles do not fade. It is just the two of them, and nothing, nothing can come between them.

They stay that way for a while. Perfect together in the moment. And then, he realizes they aren’t alone. Not at all. In fact, there are definitely people looking at them, but James can’t seem to care. He doesn’t even feel as though he should. He searches her face, certain that she, at least would be embarrassed. He can’t find a trace. He asks her without words, and she responds, “It’s okay.” She smiles again, “It’s okay as long as I’m with you.”

James wakes with a start, thankfully alone, thoroughly confused, and in desperate need of a cold shower. The dream fades quickly from his memory, but leaves him with the nagging thought that he is making a terrible mistake.

 

 




“It’s not a date.”

“It’s a date.”

“It’s not a date.”

“It is a date.”

“Who’s got a date?” Remus interjects as he enters the room.

“Prongs.”

“With Nina?”

“No, with Evans.”

“Padfoot’s lying. I haven’t got a date.”

“No, he’s only got a meeting with Evans to study.”

“Sounds like a date.” Peter throws out as he walks in from the bathroom.

“But it’s not! Lily and I are just friends. Friends like to spend time together. Lily and I study. It’s what we do.”

“I’m sure you’d do a lot more if she gave you half a chance.”

“She did though!”

“Oh right, Wormtail, I forgot James was just too much of a pansy to act on it.”

“Don’t be so harsh, Sirius, it’s not his fault he hasn’t any nerve.”

“I do!” James yells. “Goddamn. If I wanted to date Evans, I would. But I don’t right now, because we’re. Just. Friends.”

“Well, if you’re just friends,” James nods, “You won’t mind if I tag along? Because I really do need to study, and it’s not like I’ll be interrupting your date or anything.”

James narrows his eyes, “I hate you.” Because, with that logic, he just couldn’t say no.

 

 




“I tried to stop them.” James is solemn when he approaches her in the library. Lily looks confused, but understanding dawns on her face as three boys boisterously enter. Peter too, and wanted to come along, and Remus had been convinced by the other two to join them.

“Will they be joining us?” She asks. She isn’t annoyed; her tone seems more amused than anything. James nods his head apologetically. “Okay.” She smiles.

“You’re not angry?” he asks before the three arrive.

“No, but it’s not like there’s much I could do if I was.” She shrugs.

He starts to respond, but is interrupted as the remaining boys finally join them, “Hey, Evans!” Sirius greets her enthusiastically.

“Hi,” Peter is more reserved.

“Hey, Lily.” Remus greets her as a friend.

“Hello,” she smiles at them, “Join us.” She gestures to the remaining seats around the table. James has sat down next to her, and the three other’s fill in.

Sirius sits across from her. She is working somewhat diligently, he is just pulling out his supplies, “So, Evans,” she looks up at him, “Any men in your life?”

“Well,” she’s looking at her work again, “I’m sitting with four strapping young gents right now, so, yes, I’d say there are.”

“So, that’s it then? No big, strong quidditch players? No one to strike your fancy?”

“Just the one,” she mutters under her breath. James hears it, but no one else reacts, “Why, Sirius? Looking for an introduction?”

“Funny,” Sirius says dryly, everyone else laughs. “Really though,” once the chuckling has subsided, “No quidditch players?”

“No,” she somewhat sighs, “I tend to avoid them though,” she leans in closer to Sirius, and whispers so everyone can hear, “They really only know how to use one kind of broomstick, if you know what I mean.”

Sirius, Remus, and Peter laugh, James is not amused. “That’s not funny,” he tells her seriously, she shrugs with a smile.

“The truth hurts, mate.” Peter informs him.

“You would know, wouldn’t you?” James retorts. They all laugh.

It is quiet for a moment, but Sirius picks up again shortly. “So, Evans, now that we know there are no men in your life,” she raises her eyebrows, “I think we should date.”

She snorts, “You’re not really my cup of tea, Sirius.”

“No, I’m a bottle of firewhiskey. It’s better.” The boys chuckle.

“I prefer gillywater, actually.”

“You would, ya pansy.”

“I’m a girl!”

“You’re still a pansy.”

They cannot contain themselves any longer. They erupt in laughter, and for the second time in a month, Lily and James are kicked out of the library.

“Well boys,” Lily says between chuckles, “It’s been lovely, but I best be off before you get me expelled.”

“Change your mind yet?” Sirius asks.

Lily shakes her head, “No.”

He clutches his chest, “You’re breaking my heart, Evans.”

“It’s what I do best.” The laughter fades from James’ face.

She bids them farewell again, and walks off. When she has gone, they all turn on James.

“You’re an idiot, Prongs.”

 

 




It’s a strange thing, Lily thinks, to be friends with James. To laugh with him, but not kiss him afterward. To know him with friends, instead of just alone. To be close to him, but not part of him. She doesn’t mind these things. She loves laughing with him, and there’s so much more to laugh at when there’s more than just the two of them. It does, however take a great deal of will power not to kiss him when he makes her laugh until she cries. Knowing him around his friends provides an entirely new insight to him. He is like James, but magnified, when he is near them, and though it’s a rare event for them to be truly alone together, it’s not as though they don’t spend time only with each other. She is closer to him now than ever. She knows things that no one else does, understands him on a level that cannot be compared to any. She enjoys being close to him mentally, though she craves his body more than ever. It’s not a bad thing, being friends with him.

It’s just not what she wants.

She wants to kiss him because she can. She wants to hold his hand in the hallway. She wants him to hold her when she’s overwhelmed. She wants to sneak off to classrooms and bedrooms where they can be the only two people in the world. She wants to fight with him like they used to, with passions flaring and tempers raging; not the civil disagreements they have now.

But it’s what he’s offering, and so she’s taking every bit of it. She’s waiting trying to wait patiently, though every once in a while a “friendly reminder” slips out. James pretends to be annoyed; she can tell he loves it.

She didn’t realize it would be this hard. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, waiting never is, but James had done this for years. She knows it wasn’t easy for him, but he had managed, so why is she having such a difficult time?

Maybe it’s because James has always been the stronger of the two.

Or maybe it’s because the situation is different. James had hardly had to deal with her having a boyfriend.

Ugh. She isn’t sure what it is. But she knows that it’s right, and exactly where she should be. She can feel it.

So she waits. She waits and she is his friend, and she enjoys it. She suffers through the tough spots, because the rest makes her so happy. She ignores the butterflies in her stomach, and the tingling skin when their hands brush together. She tries not to read too much into it when he goes out of his way to see her or make her smile. She waits. She isn’t sure exactly how much time passes between when he left and where they are now, but she knows it feels far too long. The days are turning into weeks, and the weeks maybe into months, and they’re all blending together with a few shining, beautiful, moments standing out. Time keeps going. Life keeps moving.

Somewhere along the line, James stops seeing Nina.

 




AN: So I'd like to point out that this is legit the longest chapter I've written, EVER. Win. Also, It wasn't a terribly long wait, was it? Less than a month at least. I am on a roll. :)

In case you were wondering: yes, James was dreaming. No, Sirius is not being serious. I am hesitantly telling you there are going to be three more chapters including the Epilouge, but don't hold me to that. Also, Fairytalesque will be written next.

Um... I think that's it... Please review! :)

Love, Sunny :)

 
 


Chapter 15: Seventh Year, Part Really?
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AN: My chapters have suddenly almost doubled in length. I am confused, but I am not complaining. :)

Super cute first scene (and the next one) brought to you by the Snowpocolypse that hit the midwest last week and closed like... every school in Michigan. Colleges included. Yes, I had a snowday in college. It was epic.

Enjoy!

 








A crash of snow against Lily’s back distracts her from the snowman she is building with her roommates. A snowfall in early March has coated the ground for a final time, and nearly all of Hogwarts’ students are taking advantage of it. She turns around to find the culprit, and though nobody seems guilty, she knows immediately who it is. She rolls a ball of her own, and with the help of her wand, hurls it at the back of James’ head. She watches it make contact, and hears the satisfying crunch, then turns back to the snowman. The girls giggle.

Another snowball hits against Lily’s bare neck. She curses herself for putting her hair up. She quickly makes a snowball for herself, and turns to throw it back at James. He is standing much closer now, facing her and waiting expectantly. She throws it with all of her might, and it lands directly on his face. She laughs and then takes off running.

He follows her, pelting her with snowballs simultaneously. She attempts to throw some back at him, but none make contact. He catches up with her quickly, and though he only means to grab her, he has accumulated such momentum that he topples over, landing on top of her.

They stare at each other for a moment, and she think he might kiss her, but he doesn’t. Instead, he takes a handful of snow, and throws it in her face, grinning. She sputters, and shakes the snow off of her face as James rolls over lying next to her. He is laughing manically. She tries to shoot him a dirty look, but all she can manage is to join him.








“Remus, why is James the most bloody difficult person in the universe to shop for?”

“Because he’s filthy rich, and his parents buy him everything he wants.” He looks up at her. “Why are you shopping for him?”

“Because it’s his birthday.” Her voice is a cross between sounding as though it is the most obvious thing in the world, and second-guessing herself.

“And you want to get him something?”

“Yes.”

“Good luck.”

“You’re not being helpful.” He shrugs, “Well, what are you lot getting him?”

“I dunno yet.” She questions him with her expression, “Well, we usually all go in on gifts for him. I just give my money to Sirius, and he figures it out.” Her face lights up. “You can’t do that, though.”

“Why not?” She demands.

“Because it’s mates thing.”

“James and I are mates!”

He snorts, “No, you’re not.” Again, she questions him with her expression, “Look, just give him a kiss or something, he’ll love it.”

Her eyes narrow, “If James wanted to kiss me, don’t you think he’d just do it?”

“Let’s look at experience: has he kissed you before?”

“No,” she says quickly, she wonders if it’s too quickly, but her slip doesn’t seem to faze him. “but that’s not the point.”

“Really? Because he’s definitely wanted to kiss you before, and he hasn’t, so I think that’s exactly the point.” She narrows her eyes again, “Well if that’s out of the question, get him anything. He’ll love anything you get him, really. You could literally give him a pile of hippogriff manure, and he would put it on a pedestal, because you gave it to him.”

“Remus…”

“That’s all I’ve got for you, Lily.” She pleads with her expression, “He wouldn’t care if you gave him nothing, so really anything will work. Or even just acknowledging that it’s his birthday. He’ll be thrilled, really.” He checks his watch, “I’ve got to go, you’ll do fine.”

He gets up to leave, “Thanks, Remus.”








“James.” He looks up from the schedule, “Why is this taking so long?”

He takes her in: there are deep circles under her eyes, her tie is loosened, the hair that had been done so well this morning was now pulled back on her head. The first few buttons of her shirt are undone and he can see the familiar skin of her neck clearly. It does not exactly help his motivation to finish.

“That is a great question.” He checks his watch, and groans. “We’ve been working on this four three hours.” Lily stares at him, unable to form words. “Next time, we’re starting the schedule before nine o’clock the day before it’s due.”

“Yes,” she agrees, “that is an excellent idea.” She scans the progress they’ve made, “We’re not even close to being done.”

“We’re more than halfway,” her eyes narrow in annoyance at his optimism. He sighs, “Why don’t we take a break?”

“And do what, exactly?”

“Get some food. I for one am famished.” He isn’t but that doesn’t matter. He needs to get away from this stupid common room and this stupid work. Lily does too, he can tell.

“How are we supposed to get food now?”

He looks at her in shock, “You’re doubting me? Really?”

“Never.” She chuckles, “Lead the way.”

They walk out of the stuffy common room and into the brisk air of the corridor. There is a moment of slight panic on Lily’s part, what happens if they get caught? James reminds her that they are Head Students after all, and it comforts her enough.

They walk slowly, enjoying every moment away from the work they can afford. Talking isn’t necessary; the silence between them is nearly always comfortable.

Lily’s hand is casually bumping into James’. He is certain that she’s doing it on purpose, and he can’t exactly blame her. He too, takes every chance he can to innocently touch her. Their fingers often graze when working together, and his touch always lingers just a moment longer than necessary.

He wants to grab her hand, and hold it for the rest of the way to the kitchens. He wants to hold it forever. Every fiber of his body is telling him to do it. Part of his mind is trying to reason doing it. He wants to, she wants him to, there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s innocent.

But at deeper part of him, the broken hearted part, is telling him not to. He can’t. Touches are always more than they seem between them. They are both tired, and neither of them is exactly thinking clearly. Maybe he was ready to hold her hand, but it wouldn’t stop there. It would lead to more, and James is not ready for more.

The latter wins out, and James stuffs his hands in his pockets. Lily clasps hers behind her back.

This action has somehow made the silence awkward, and Lily is the first to break it.

“So, your birthday’s coming up. Any big plans?”

He shrugs, “I guess they’re throwing me a party, but that’s all that I know of.”

“I did hear of this party.” She nods.

“What did they tell you?” his interest piques, “They won’t say anything to me.”

“It’s supposed to be really spectacular, but that’s all I’m at liberty to say.”

He stares at her, trying to force an answer out. She ignores him. “That’s it? After all I’ve done for you?” He’s pleading now, it’s fake, but it never hurts to try.

She chuckles, “That’s all I really know anyway.”

“Well then,” he rolls his eyes dramatically, “I guess that is acceptable.”

“Good,” She grins at him.

They arrive at the entrance to the kitchens, “Have you ever been here before?” he asks her. She shakes her head. “See that pear?”

“Of course.”

“It’s ticklish.” She looks at him skeptically. “Try it.”

She seems suspicious, but walks forward and does it. James grins as he hears her gasp of surprise.

“The kitchens?” she turns around to ask.

“Open the door and see.”

She opens the door and turns back to him. “Remind me never to doubt you again.”

“Will do.”

They enter, take a seat, and allow the house elves to serve them. Lily takes a bite of her dessert, “You know, maybe we should make this a tradition.”

James laughs, “We’ve only got to do two more.”

“That’s right.” She takes a drink of pumpkin juice, “That’s rather sad.”

“You’re upset that we won’t have to slave away over prefect schedules anymore?”

“No,” she corrects, “I’m upset that we won’t be here anymore.”

“That’s fair.”

“I’m glad you approve.” She deadpans.

“Of course I approve.” She rolls her eyes, “It’s scary outside of here. There’s a war on.”

“It’d be scary even if they’re weren’t a war on.” He raises his eyebrows, inviting a further explanation, “Well, we leave here, and we have to be grown ups. We have to get jobs, and buy houses, and figure out what to do with our lives. It’s terrifying.”

“You don’t know what you want to do with your life?”

“You do?”

“Well, yeah. I mean, I did. The war kind of changes things.” He takes a bite of his cake as Lily sets down her goblet.

“Do tell.”

“Well, I always wanted to be a Curse-Breaker, for Gringotts,” she chuckles. “But with everything that’s going on, all I can imagine is fighting.”

She smiles, “A Curse-Breaker, that doesn’t surprise me at all.” He raises an eyebrow, “It’s just so you. A life full of chaos and adventure, that’s got ‘James Potter’ written all over it.”

He laughs, “Thanks. What about you?”

“I told you,” she scolds, “I haven’t got a clue.”

“Yes, you do.” She shakes her head; “You never wanted to be anything when you were little?”

“Well, when I was little, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I discovered I was a witch, and things changed.”

“And now?”

“And now, I dunno. I suppose I want to fight, how could I not? But it’s kind of impeding on other dreams.”

“What other dreams?”

“You’ll laugh.”

“I won’t.”

“You will.”

“I won’t!”

“Fine,” she concedes, “but if you do, I’m leaving and you’re finishing the schedules by yourself.”

“That’s fine, because I won’t.”

She rolls her eyes, “Well, as part of the master plan for my life I developed when I was six, after I taught, and got married, and had a family, I was just going to stay at home and raise my children.” James can’t stop his eyes from widening in surprise, “Yes, I wanted to be a housewife.”

He doesn’t laugh, “You still do?”

“Yeah.” She smiles, “I don’t want anything more, actually.”

He grins, “That’s brilliant. You’ll be a wonderful mother.”

She blushes, “Thank you.”

By they time they leave the kitchens it is nearly two in the morning. It takes them another hour to finish their work. They are completely exhausted by the time they finally make their way to bed. As they drift off to sleep, neither of them could be happier.









The bass is thumping. The music is up way too loud, and Lily can feel the vibrations coursing to her core. There is a general hum of excitement and chatter lingering just below the music. People are dancing. Food and drink are being consumed by the ton. James Potter’s birthday party is in full swing.

Lily has a headache.

This isn’t to say that she hasn’t been enjoying herself, because indeed, she has. She has eaten the delicious food, had at least her share of butterbeer, turned down a firewhiskey, chatted merrily with everyone around her, and danced with Sirius, Remus and Peter at least once.

She has seen James, but only from a distance. It is disappointing, but not all together unexpected. He is busy being the cordial host that she is certain his mother raised him to be.

Surely soon he would need to greet her too, and then she’ll get to see him, and talk to him a little, at least. Perhaps he’ll even stay by her side for the rest of the night. She can’t think of anyone who would object the thought. Soon, he would find her but now, she needs a break.

She excuses herself from the group she is chatting with, and cuts across the common room, bottle of butterbeer in hand. As she exits the portrait hole, the cool air of the corridor shocks her. She inhales deeply, and sighs in relief as the fat lady closes behind her, and shuts out the sounds from within.

Wishing to avoid conversation with the Fat Lady, as well as any other Gryffindors taking a break from the party, she took a few strides down the corridor, turned around the first corner, and slid down against the wall. Memories of turning this same corner flood her. Days when she would storm around, waiting to be shoved into the wall when he would inevitably find her. Good days. Well, better days.

No, that wasn’t it either. Days then were good of course, but so were the days now. And it wasn’t as if those days were better either. She was just as happy now as she was then, and in fact, in some ways, maybe happier. Life now is less confusing, less dramatic. When she puts her mind to it, she can really only think of one thing that she would change.

“There you are.” The voice is familiar and comforting; the only one she wants to hear, “Skipping out on my party already?”

“Just taking a break,” she smiles, “I have a headache.”

“Did Sirius give you firewhiskey?” He eyes the bottle wearily.

“No, he offered and I declined, it’s simply butterbeer for me.”

“Good, because that stuff will definitely give you a headache.”

She peers at him, “You’ve had some already, haven’t you?”

“No, absolutely-“ Her eyes are narrowed at him, “Okay I’ve had a bit, but it’s my birthday!” He slides down the wall opposite her. It’s a small corridor, and their feet almost touch when their legs are out straight in front of them.

She laughs, “Are you enjoying it?”

“The buzz or the birthday?”

She laughs again, “Both, I suppose.”

“Well, I’m really not that buzzed, but the birthday is going swimmingly.”

“Good presents?”

“Excellent. I particularly enjoyed yours.” He pulls a beautiful cherry box from the pocket of his cloak, opens it, and removes A Christmas Carol, holding it up to show her. “That’s wonderful, really.”

She laughs, “I hoped you would enjoy that. Have you figured out the box yet?”

“Well,” he ponders it for a bit, “No, I haven’t.”

“That’s probably because it’s just a box. It’s not magical. My father makes them. You’re supposed to keep things that are precious to you in them. I have one to keep letters from home in.”

He silently appraises it. He runs his hands over it, opens it, then closes it.

“You don’t have something precious to put in it?”

“No. The only thing worthy of it won’t fit in a box.” She smiles at him, but does not respond. Perhaps a strange sense of guilt overcomes him, because suddenly he tells her, “I’m not seeing Nina anymore.”

“Good.” She responds without thinking, but attempts to save herself, “I mean, I know. I mean, I’m sorry.”

“No you’re not.”

“I’m not,” she admits, “but I’m trying. Does that count?”

“I think it does.”

“You’re wonderful.” Her expression is full of affection for the boy. He doesn’t respond. She sighs, “This is just so difficult. Is this- is this how you felt?” He raises his eyebrows, asking for an elaboration, “Like, like everything you need in the world is right in front of you, but you just can’t have it. Or you’re favorite toy is at a store, or a friends house, and you can play with it all day, but you can’t bring it home. Or- or like there’s some wonderful toxic…thing, and you can spend some time with it, and when you do it’s glorious, but when you leave, and it makes you leave, it kills you a little bit more.” She stares at him.

“That about sums it up, yeah.” He avoids eye contact.

“I’m so sorry. I am a bitch. This is horrendous.”

“You’re not a bitch. You’re one of the kindest people I know, actually.”

She rolls her eyes, “I wouldn’t wish this suffering on my worst enemy, and I put you through it for years. That does not exactly sound kind to me.”

He moves slightly closer to her, “I didn’t exactly deserve your kindness for a good portion of that time.”

They are silent for a few moments; both are avoiding eye contact with each other. Finally, Lily speaks, “Does it make me selfish to want you after everything I’ve done to you?”

He ponders for a moment, “Yes.” Her face falls, “but being selfish is not the worst thing in the world. Every single person alive has selfish tendencies. I’m being selfish about this whole thing too,” she looks confused, but he ignores the expression, and she does not pursue it, “There are far worse things to be than selfish.”

“Like what?” her voice is flat.

“You could be a Slytherin.”

Lily cannot suppress her laugh. She looks at him, he is standing now, and holding out his hands, she smiles at him. “Thanks,” she takes his hands, and allows him to help her stand.

“Let’s go, Lily,” he offers her his arm, and she accepts, “the party awaits.”
 








They return to the party, and Lily is immediately stolen away by Sirius. He drags her away to dance, and James is left to find a seat on the couch, and think.

She is selfish, that can’t be denied, but there are so many good things about her, the selfishness seems miniscule in comparison. She is good, and sweet, and kind, and adventurous. She is brave, and strong, and fun, and funny, and always, always, always willing to stand up for what she believes in. She has such a beautiful soul that is a shame she focuses on the negative aspect.

James can’t even bring himself to think of it as a negative aspect. However much pain it has caused him, it’s brought him happiness too. If Lily was a selfless as she wanted to be, their relationship would’ve ended before it had even started. And even if it had lasted, they certainly wouldn’t be where they are now.

Where they are now isn’t the perfect place, and it isn’t where either of them wants to be, but it’s nice. It’s a piece of beautiful scenery on the bumpy road to somewhere amazing. And James doesn’t think he would change it, even if he could.

“James.” Lily brings him out of his reverie. “Listen!” She’s grinning.

He catches the familiar tune, and images of Lily dancing on his bed flood his memory. He smiles.

“Come dance with me!” She grabs his hands and drags him over.

The song is nearly over by the time they make it to the dance floor, and they have only a few precious moments of movement before a slow number comes on. Lily looks at him, uncertain of whether or not he wants to sit down. He answers her by grabbing her waist and pulling her close. He holds onto her right hand, and her left arm snakes around his neck. She gently rests her head on his shoulder.

It isn’t exactly the closest they’ve been since the last night they were together, but it is certainly the most intimate. James can feel her breath on his neck, and it makes him miss her all the more.

They aren’t nearly close enough, but for now, he is content.








AN: Next chapter is the last, excluding the Epilogue. (:( That’s a happy and a sad face because this is a little bit of both. There might be an update next weekend, but I can’t make promises. My goal is to have the entire thing done by March 9, because I think that’s the anniversary of this story. So, there’s that.

I’m so terribly sorry I’ve been slacking on review replies. There are a lot of you with really nice comments that I feel deserve response, but it takes so long with everything going on in my life right now. I’m prioritizing, and the story comes first.

I think that’s all.

Please review!

Love, Sunny

 


Chapter 16: Seventh Year, The End
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 James is startled, but not altogether surprised when he finds himself hanging by an ankle in the middle of a deserted corridor. It is not exactly an uncommon occurrence, for him to be walking alone and to suddenly be hexed. He hardly even needs to think about who his assailant is. His current position, and the fact he was attacked from the back tell him everything he needs to know.

"Potter." He leers as he comes around to face him.

James does not waste time. He draws his wand and with a flash, sends Snape flying down the corridor. "Snivellus!" he yells, with mock pleasantry. "So good to see you! Haven't changed a bit, have you?" James walks toward him as he is clamoring toward his wand, "Same greasy hair, same mediocre dueling strategies." Snape reaches his wand and makes to curse him, but James is quicker, "Impedimenta!" This too knocks Snape back, but he continues moving, as if through a think syrup toward James, "Tell me, is this how they teach you to duel in the Death Eaters?"

He recovers more quickly than James expects. An invisible force pins him against the wall. "Is this how your daddy taught you to duel?" Snape taunts, "No, no, that's not right. He told you to never attack unless it's four on one. What a cowardly rule for someone who sets so much store by bravery."

"At least I never need to attack from behind." James grunts.

Snapes face reddens in rage. He storms up to James, his wanted pointed directly at his chest. The curse upon James lifts at the same time, and he is able to shove Snape away from him. Snape recovers quickly and lifts his wand. James sends a stinging jinx at him, and just as he hopes, Snape guards his face with his hands. The jinx hits his wand hand, and begins to swell. James never misses.

Snape drops his wand, and James pounces on the opportunity to strike again. Snapes legs begin to dance against his will. James laughs.

The momentary lapse allows Snape enough time to find his wand and wield it with his other hand. James is knocked back, and his tongue affixes to the roof of his mouth.

When he regains himself, he aims fires at exactly the same time Snape yells "Sectum-" and a new voice yells "PROTEGO!" The shield knocks both of them backward, and their jinxes hit the walls.

Lily stares at both of them, James has never seen her more disappointed. Snape looks regretfully at her, and scurries off. James tries to speak, but his tongue is still stuck to the roof of his mouth, and no words can come out. Lily stares at him, right through him he is certain, shakes her head, and walks away.





"Lily," He pleads. He finds her sitting in the library after a trip to the Infirmary and much searching on the map.

Surprisingly, she does not ignore him. "How could you?" She spits.

"How could I? How could I?" She does not back down, "I was defending myself!" Lily gets up and leaves the library. James follows her. "Lily!"

She turns to face him immediately after they exit. "I don't care!" She is shouting now, and it's obvious that she left not to avoid him, but to avoid being kicked out the library again.

"You don't care that I was attacked?"

"You didn't have to start dueling him because of it!"

Students that had overheard the beginning of their conversation are exiting to watch them. Others passing by stop. Lily and James are creating a show like they haven't in years.

"What do you expect me to do?" his arms are flailing, he hardly notices. "Just walk away?"

"Yes!" She cries.

"He attacked me from behind! And you expect me to turn and let him have another free shot at me?"

"No. No I would never expect you to put yourself at risk." Her voice is calmer, "But you certainly have the ability to do end it." Her calm façade fades quickly "You could've stunned him or put him in a body bind and left! You didn't have to fight!"

"You don't want me to fight?" His anger is white hot, his voice drops to barely a whisper. "What about when we leave Hogwarts? Would you expect me to just walk away then?"

"No." Her anger dissolves quickly. "No, of course I wouldn't." She is still frantic, but it is with worry now, "But we're not out there yet. We are in Hogwarts. It's not necessary now. You don't have to fight yet!"

"If I'm going to fight then, why not start now?" He counters.

"Because it's not safe!" She's yelling again.

"We're in Hogwarts!"

"That doesn't matter to him, James! You don't understand!"

They've somehow moved closer. James can see the flush in her face, and the desperation in her eyes. In another world, another life, another time, he would kiss her. She would storm off and he would follow her. They would kiss passionately. Maybe they would go farther. If this were only a few months before. But it's not. He's not there. He's here and now, and he is more aware of it now than ever. So he doesn't kiss her. She turns to leave, but he grabs her hand. She turns back.

"You're right." He says. "I'm sorry."

The group surrounding them gasps.

Lily stares at him in disbelief for a moment before realizing that he is serious. "Me too." She wraps her arms around him in a hug. He tentatively returns the gesture.

"Thank you." She whispers in his ear.





Lily wonders when exactly James Potter developed the ability to make her nervous.

He hadn't always had it, to be certain. There was a time where she could stand near him, argue with him, even snog him, without feeling anything.

But now, she can hardly look at him.

She blushes when he smiles at her; butterflies run rampant in her stomach when they touch. It is altogether strange and wonderful. It was uncomfortable at first, but it's so pleasant, it could never stop and she would not complain.

She loves the butterflies he gives her and the blush he puts in her face. She, though she would never admit it, loves the fact that he makes her nervous.





Whenever it was that he developed this ability, Lily is very glad he did.

Lily looks at James.

James looks at Lily.

They do not make eye contact.

They are sitting in the library, some distance apart. It is dangerous for them to sit together; they almost always get kicked out. Aside from that, they are doing very different things, and would only serve to distract one another. James is tutoring a second year, and Lily is attempting to write an essay for Charms.

Neither is doing their job very well.

Lily is quite fond of the expression James wears when the young boy accomplishes something significant. James is intrigued by Lily deep in thought, searching for the right combination of words. It draws their attention to each other. They take turns, their gaze drifting over, taking in the sight, then as soon as it is noticed, looking away, embarrassed to have been caught. It's never enough to keep them from looking again.

Lily looks at James.

His expression is an odd one, born from boredom, and it makes Lily laugh.

James looks at Lily.

She is biting her lip in thought, and it reminds James of when he used to bite her lips…

The boy James is tutoring somehow misses his target (two rabbits) and hits James' hand, which quickly begins to spurt fur. James shouts, the boy gasps and apologizes. Lily's attention returns to James with the commotion. She laughs again at his furry hand. After the initial shock, James manages to fix it; both the boy and James agree that it is time to call it a night. James helps him pack his things.

James looks at Lily. She is still looking at him. He shakes his head in frustration at her laughter. She continues to laugh. James sticks his tongue out. Lily does it back. They both laugh, and turn their heads away, trying to regain composure.

Lily looks back at James.

James looks back at Lily.

They make eye contact.

Both of them blush.





Lily is in quite the conundrum. The next, and last, Hogsmeade visit is rapidly approaching, and Lily has absolutely no one to go with her. All of her friends have either a date or detention. She probably should have invested more of her time here making friends.

She could ask James, she supposes. Mates could do that, right? It's not as if it would be a date… though he probably already had plans with his friends. Maybe she could tag along? All of them do seem to like her. It wouldn't be much of an inconvenience, she thinks. She should ask. It never hurts to ask (although sometimes, she remembers all too clearly, it hurts to hear the answers).

She finds him at lunch, surrounded as usual, with his mates. She has hoped he would be alone, but it's probably for the best this way. If she wanted to go with all of them, she should ask all of them. It is only fair.

"Hello, guys." She sits down next to them. They greet her cordially and she initiates banter about their day. She hasn't had classes with them yet today, and it amazes her that their days could always be interesting. Of course, based on the time she spends with them, they are always doing something fun.

A gap appears in the conversation, and Lily jumps at it. "So, you guys have any plans for the Hogsmeade trip?"

"I've got detention," Sirius laments.

"Me too." Peter announces.

"I'll be visiting my Mum…" Remus whispers so quietly that Lily almost doesn't catch it.

"Therefore," says James with mock joviality, "I'm staying at the castle."

Lily laughs, "You should come with me! I haven't got anyone to go with either."

"Really? Excellent. It's a da-plan." She can't help but smile a little at his almost slip. It isn't a date.

Is it?





Their hands are hitting each other again. He isn't sure this time whether she's doing it on purpose or not. He doesn't think she is.

It's curious though, to think that they've done this very same patrol nearly a hundred times, and their hands have never bumped as much as they are now. Maybe he just hasn't noticed it.

He would be daft to think that, of course. He definitely would have noticed if it were like this before. Perhaps they're just walking closer now. It seems that they're always slightly closer than they were before.

He is losing his resolve. Every little bit he has mustered up and held onto so steadfastly is slowly but surely draining. It does not surprise him. He knew when he agreed to be friends that eventually it would lead them back. He had no idea it would be this quickly. However, when he really thinks about, it's quite amazing he's made it this far. A few months ago would've had them together as soon as she would have him.

It is really quite a feat for him to have lasted this long.

Yet he wonders if this is what should be happening. If this is what's best for both of them. Maybe if he holds out a bit longer, it could be even better. He isn't sure he can. What's more, he isn't sure he wants to. Sure, waiting could be for the best, but waiting too long could drive her away. He can't lose her again. And really, when he notices his resolve leaving, he never seems to miss it. He doesn't mind when they're closer than what's really appropriate. He never thinks that something would be better or more fun if Lily weren't there. Usually it's the opposite. He is losing his resolve. He isn't sorry to see it go.

Her hand bumps his again. He grabs it, and threads his fingers through hers.

He doesn't miss the smile playing on her lips.





The Hogsmeade visit comes quickly. Before either of them really expects it, the morning has come, and brought with it a thick layering of clouds. It is a horrendously ugly day, chilly, damp, dark, certainly not amenable to meandering around the village. Miraculously, it does not rain.

Lily and James hardly seem to notice. They are enraptured by each other. Their conversations are stimulating; their silences are comfortable. They needn't have been anywhere except for with each other.

Their fingers are threaded together as they stroll. Most students are put off by the weather and have remained at the castle, or else in shops. There are few strange looks as they walk by. Lily wonders, though, if there would be any anyway. She is sure most people saw it coming.

They make all the usual stops. Honeydukes, Zonko's, Dervish and Banges, Scriveshafts, The Shrieking Shack. Lily is fulfilling a need to say goodbye to this town. James is only happy to oblige her. They come to the Three Broomsticks when they have gone everywhere else, and Lily starts off an extremely nostalgic conversation. James joins, and the two are soon laughing over memories and butterbeer.

It is sad when the must leave, and for James, even more disappointing to find that rain has started to fall. Apparently, Lily disagrees with him. As they come to the door, she looks at him and grins wickedly.

She scurries out the door, stops in the middle of the road. She spreads her arms, and tilts her head, allowing every bit of herself to feel the rain. After a moment, she begins to spin. She twirls and jumps and laughs and does not stop smiling the entire time.

James watches her from a safe distance under the canopy outside the Three Broomsticks. He is in awe of her childlike wonder at the rain. It's nearly as if she has never seen it before. He loves it. Her face is aglow with happiness and excitement. It's contagious. He jogs out to join her.

She stops when she sees him, but never stops grinning. James meets her in the middle of the street and, because he just can't help it anymore, he kisses her.

Without a shadow of a doubt, it is the best one yet.





James is sleeping. His breathing is deep and even, his face is tilted toward her. Lily worries that the glasses remaining on his face will be damaged because of it. His mouth is slightly ajar. He looks peaceful.

She can't help but smile at him. It astonishes her that even in his completely vulnerable position: nude, asleep, arms wrapped around her, he still manages to be everything. As soon as the thought crosses her mind, she dismisses it. It shouldn't surprise her anymore. James as always managed to be exactly what she needs. Her lover, her friend, her enemy, her rescuer, her- her everything.

He makes her happy. He makes her laugh. He fights with her, and then makes up with her. He routinely saves her, usually from herself. He makes her feel safe. Even now, when should anything remotely dangerous happen, he would be completely useless, his arms wrapped around her waist somehow imply that he will protect her.

She wonders why he does that. He has, every single time since they've been back together. She wouldn't put knowing how it makes her feel past him; he always seems to know one way or another. Perhaps, a more apprehensive part of her brain interjects, it's because he's afraid. Not that anything will happen, because it would be silly to think that he would ever fear an attack. No, it would be a fear leftover from before. Perhaps he's holding onto her like this because he's afraid that she'll leave again.

She won't, of course. She would not go if her life depended on it. She is more than completely certain. But she doesn't know if he is. She hasn't yet given him any reason to think she might. She hasn't yet given him any reason to know she won't.

She has to tell him. The need is urgent and demanding and completely ignoring the knowledge that she could easily wait until the morning. She really can't wait until the morning.

"James!" she hisses. He stirs but does not respond. She shakes him gently, "James! James, please wake up." Her voice is urgent, but not fearful.

"Yes?" He groans.

"Wake up. I have to tell you something." She is sitting now, trying to pull him up. It is to no avail.

"It can wait." He makes no effort to stop her from pulling on his arms. He just does not open his eyes.

"No, it can't. James wake up, right now!"

He groans again, but sits up, takes off his glasses to rub his eyes, puts them back on. "Okay, what is so important that you had to wake me?" He wants to sound upset, but he'll never pass on an opportunity to talk to Lily. No matter his state of consciousness.

She smiles, shyly. Butterflies are going crazy in her stomach. She takes a deep breath, and says quickly, "I love you."

He blinks. Once. Twice. Threefourfivesixseveneight times. All he can respond with is "What?"

Lily blushes; obviously this is a bad idea. She should've waited until morning. "It's nothing. Go back to sleep. It can wait. I'm sorry."

"No." she says sharply, "No, tell me again." He grabs her hands.

She stares straight into his eyes. "I love you." He closes his eyes, letting the words sink into him. Then he smiles. "I'm really sorry for waking you."

"No," He kisses her. "No, you were right." He embraces her tightly, and kisses her again, "It couldn't wait. It should never wait. And Lily,"

Her heart is going crazy, and nothing in the world is more important than the next words he says.

"I love you too."





AN: And that's it. The end. :( I don't know how I feel about it. It just seems... lacking. I don't know. There's still the Epilogue to come, so if you feel like you need one last fix, no worries. I'll do this more properly for the next chapter, but I just really want to thank you all for the reviews and encouragement. It definitely would not have come this far without you. You are all wonderful! :)

I love you all so, so much,

Sunny


Chapter 17: Epilogue: For the Rest of Eternity
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 AN: To everyone who has read, and reviewed this story, I thank you. Without your continued support, it honestly would not be what it is today. You are all amazing, wonderful people, and I am so, so lucky to have encountered you.





James and Lily graduate in June. James immediately begins fighting alongside his friends. Lily finds a job as a store clerk, in order to maintain a flat of her own, but she too fights.





There is a knock at her door. She creeps to it, wand drawn. Death Eaters do not normally knock, but in these times, one can never be too cautious. She looks through the peephole. The door nearly falls off of its hinges; the visitor is all but tackled. She kisses him full on the mouth. He catches her, and is able to bring her inside. It is not wise to linger in doorways.

“James!” He sets her down, “James, are you okay? What happened?” She is frantic. He was supposed to meet her nearly an hour ago. Only terrible things have been running through her head.

“What do you want more than anything in life?” He demands.

“You,” She says, sweetly, mischievously. He is not amused. “To be a housewife,” She is just as serious now. “Do we really need to do this? I know it’s you.”

“Lily,” He is stern.

“When was our first kiss?”

“Fourth Year,” He can’t help but smirk a little, “It was grand.”

She lets a laugh out too, because grand is definitely not the adjective she would have chosen, but begins fussing over him almost immediately, “What happened? You look awful.” She ushers him the short way into her living room.

“Thanks.” He deadpans. They sit on her sofa.

She brushes hair out of his eyes, “That’s not what I meant.”

“Sirius and I ran into some Death Eaters.” Her eyes widen. “We’re fine. We’re both fine.” It doesn’t seem to calm her. “Some of Sirius’s dad’s friends recognized him. They followed us into an alley and attacked. We got away. It’s fine.”

“You could have been killed.” Her face is blank.

“But we weren’t. We’re fine.” She kisses him. He pulls away after a moment. “What was that for?”

There is something comforting in his kisses, a reassurance that he is there, and safe, and that it’s actually him. They kiss a lot now, sweet, stolen pecks, rather than full on snogging. When they aren’t kissing, they’re nearly always touching in some way. It helps them feel safe. It helps them to know the other is safe too.

“I love you,” She says. She kisses him again, “And I’m glad you’re safe.”

He smiles, “I love you, too.”

“Good,” she murmurs, through yet another kiss.

James is leaning forward. She’s doing her best not to fall backward, but she’s finding it increasingly difficult to stay upright. James, evidently, realizes this, as he puts an arm around her neck to support her, and continues to lay her down. His mouth moves to her neck, and she lets out a moan of appreciation. Some article of clothing is flung across the room; it knocks something over when it lands.

At some point in the day, they had had plans. They were going to go on an actual date, a picnic to a nearby park. They were going to sit in the sun, talk about frivolous things, and smile and laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. But life, as Lily is learning day by day, does not follow a plan. It throws curve balls, and curses. It makes hairpin turns, and can stop on a dime. It is crazy and unpredictable, and Lily won’t have it any other way.





Mostly, Lily’s flat is completely useless. It puts on a lovely show for her parents and his, until both sets tragically pass on, but Lily spends the majority of her time with the Marauders at James’ flat. Despite the problems this presents, Lily enjoys it immensely. James, of course, is thrilled when she is there. The Marauders, too, will benefit from her presence. As the lone female of the group, and a female with a domestic desire, she cooks for them frequently, and cleans rarely, though much more often then they.





She giggles. He kisses her. She giggles some more.

Her hair is fanned around her head like a halo; with the backdrop of his white sheets, she looks nothing short of angelic. Her beauty will never, ever cease to amaze James. Nothing about her will cease to amaze him. Her body, her mind, her soul, every single day, he finds something new, something to love even more.

He is sure to prop himself up, so he does not crush her as she lies beneath him. Their chests are still touching, but his weight is focused on his arms, not her body. He kisses her neck softly.

She sighs. He brings his face back to hers. “Let’s stay here,” she says.

“Okay,” he murmurs. He showers her with feather-light kisses.

“Let’s stay here forever,” she sighs again as he kisses her lips.

“Here?” He asks skeptically. He is aware that his room, small, cramped, and messy as it is, is not a place fit for forever.

“Anywhere,” she corrects. He is looking into her eyes; she is pleading with him. “Let’s go somewhere, and just stay there until we’re old and gray.”

He furrows his brow, “We can’t do that, Lily,” he says seriously, “You know we can’t.” He rolls off of her.

She turns to her side so he is looking at her again, “But we could,” she pleads, “We could run away. Leave the country. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Anywhere but here.”

It sounds wonderful. Tempting. It is a beautiful notion, to leave the war and start a new life in a new place. James wants to consider it, he wants to do it, but he can’t. Something-perhaps it’s the memory of his father, or the hope for a better future for his children, his and Lily’s children- something is holding him back. “Lily,” he’s hoping she’ll understand, “We can’t.”

Her concession is silent. The room is still for a moment, and then she speaks again, softly, “I just, I want to stay with you for the rest of eternity.”

James blinks a few times in quick succession. “Really?”

Lily stares at him in confusion. “Yes.” It is the most obvious thing in the world.

He rises from the bed quickly, and moves to the bureau across the room. He throws open the top drawer, and pulls out the small wooden box Lily gave him once for his birthday. He opens it, pulls something out, and returns to the bed.

Lily is sitting on the edge of the bed now, trying to decipher what it is he’s holding. He hides it well, and Lily is left in confusion.

“I love you, Lily,” he states, “I love you, and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of eternity with you. You are,” he stammers a bit. Tears are welling in both of their eyes, “You are everything. The sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the grass, the flowers, you are my entire world.” Lily’s hand is covering her mouth. “Lily, you are the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.” He pulls the small velvet box he has dug out earlier and he drops to one knee, and grabs her hand, “Will you marry me?”

She can only nod at first. Then, “Yes. Yes! Yes, of course! Of course I will.”

He cuts her off with a kiss.





Their wedding is a small, but glorious affair. Smiles, laughter, and love abound. Friends and family surround them. It is a shining moment in the midst of terrible darkness. For a while, at least, the pair has a difficult time remembering another occasion filled with as much joy.

And then, when they reach their darkest hour, Lily becomes pregnant. It of course, is unexpected and scary, but neither of them wishes to change it. They go into hiding, though it nearly drives James mad. They dote upon their young son, and Harry brings infinite amounts of joy to their lives.

The terror of the war is still present, of course. Their safety can never be guaranteed, and nearly all of their loved ones are fighting. Terrible news haunts their doorstep far too frequently.





Lily finds her husband lying in the grass on a warm summer night. She has just put Harry to sleep, and is grateful for the time alone with James. Without a word, she lies next to him.

Cricket chirps and owl songs are the only sounds in the air. It is nearly a full minute before James speaks: “What do you think is up there?”

The question does not surprise Lily. James has become quite pensive cooped up in the house. “Heaven,” she answers after a moment of thought.

He turns his head to look at her, “Is that what you think happens,” he pauses, “when you die? You just go to Heaven?”

“I haven’t a clue,” she looks back at him, “I hope that’s what happens.”

“Are you afraid?” he asks, “To die?”

“Yes,” she cannot lie to him. “I’m bloody terrified.” He’s looking back at the sky, “Are you?”

He seems to think for a moment, though he may just be lost in the stars, “No,” he comes back to earth, “I’m not.”

She takes it in, “Why not?”

“I guess,” he turns his head to face her, “because my parents taught me not to be.” She questions him with a glance. “They were old. Them dying while I was young was always a definite possibility. Old people die. Everyone dies. They knew that. I knew that. Everyone knows that.” Lily nods, “So they taught me that it wasn’t something to be afraid of. Death isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning.”

She smiles sadly, “You’re not afraid of leaving me? Or Harry?”

“Is that what you’re afraid of?”

“I don’t want a new beginning,” she whispers, “I quite like this one.”

“If you’re afraid of leaving us, love, you have nothing to worry about.” Again, she questions him with a glance. “You are never going to leave me, and you’re never going to leave Harry.” She still does not understand. “We love you, Lily, and because we do, because we have loved you, you will never, ever leave us. I keep part of you inside of me, and so does Harry. You are always with me, however near or far you are.”

“Does the same hold true for you?”

“I’ll stay with you for as long as you’ll have me.”

“Forever, then.”

“And beyond.”

They reach for each other’s hands, and grasp them lightly.

“I love you,” one says.

“I love you, too,” says the other.

They don’t know how long they stay there, drifting amongst the stars and each other’s eyes. Minutes, or hours, or days, or weeks, or lifetimes, are shared between the two of them. It is a splendid eternity.





Eventually, the sun will rise. Time will pass, excruciatingly. The days will fade, and the seasons will change.

One day, there will be a knock on their door.

“To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone, Page 297, 1997






AN: That concludes the end of an amazing journey. Thank you again, for joining me. :)

If you haven’t checked out my other stories, please do, it really means a lot. Also, if you’re interested, I have a tumblr, and sometimes I post things about what I’m writing. It is, ifthereareanyheavens

So, yeah. That’s it. I really cannot thank you all enough for this. I can’t even express how wonderful it’s been. Hopefully, I’ll see you around (figuratively speaking, of course).

Love, always and forever,
Sunny



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