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L.E. by Groundswell

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,758
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Violence

Genres: Fluff, Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 09/05/2011
Last Chapter: 09/05/2011
Last Updated: 09/23/2011

Summary:


As James returns for his fifth year at Hogwarts, something has changed. His feelings for Lily Evans. Which is kind of confusing seeing as he and Lily Evans are quite the opposite of friends.

A look into James mind at the first day of the term.


Chapter 1: Lily Evans
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AN: This story was inspired by one line in the legendary Snape’s Worst Memory: “He had drawn a Snitch and was now tracing the letters ‘L.E.’.” This story is about that simple feeling of realising that you’re falling in love with someone. Pure and simple as that, though just in James’ case, it isn’t that simple. Also, I'm not JKR, and I have just borrowed a few of her characters for this. Enjoy!

L.E.


The first drop of the early September rain fell right in the centre of his left lens, blurring out the spots of the two teenagers, crossing the street, not twenty feet away. He quickly wiped the drop away, though it was quickly replaced by a new one. A slight frown appeared on his forehead at the sight of the redheaded girl and the tall, black-haired boy. He turned away, eyes on his mother, smiling slightly.

“I’ll find my own way in,” he said. “You should get back to work. Don’t worry.”

She smiled, her brown eyes searching her son’s. “Are you sure, James?”

He nodded. “Go ahead. I can take care of myself.”

She hugged him tightly. Even though she wasn’t exactly a low-set woman, he had grown much over the past few months and she only reached his chin with the top of her head. “Have a good term then. Write to me at least once a week, and please behave.” She reached up and kissed his cheek. “I’ll see you at Christmas, sweetheart.”

“Yeah. I’ll see you then. I’ll miss you. Tell dad, too.”

He hugged her once more before turning, pushing the trolley with his luggage into the station. He kept his distance to the teenagers in front of him, not yet in the right mood to deal with them, though still he felt a strange pull to pass them, just to have a look.

He frowned to himself, not really sure where that idea came from, after all, Lily Evans and he had never been good friends, mostly because of the person walking next to her; Severus Snape, who was the closest thing he would probably ever come to a archenemy.

He slowed down his pace, falling farther behind, looking around the station for someone else to greet, but maybe they were already in there with just five minutes till departure. He watched as Evans and Snape together went through the barrier and disappeared from sight. Careful, as if afraid of someone watching him, he walked forward, disappearing through the barrier too, breathing in the air of Platform 9 ¾.

It didn’t take him long to locate a friend in the crowd, and hurrying past a big family of five, he walked to the side of a brown-haired, tall boy who was busy saying goodbye to his parents.

“James, dear!” Mrs Lupin smiled at him as he stopped next to Remus. “How was your summer?”

“Fine, thanks,” James said as he stopped the trolley from drifting away from him. “Did you have a nice time in Hungary?”

“Lovely, you should go sometime.” She was still smiling as she put an arm around her son, hugging him again. “You be good this year, okay? I know how you boys like to get in trouble.” She looked both at Remus and James as she said this.

James couldn’t help smiling, exchanging looks with Remus.

“We’ll behave,” Remus said, clearing his throat as his voice broke slightly in the end. “I promise, mum.”

She smiled, letting go of him. “We’ll see you at Christmas.”

He nodded, and together the two left to board the train.

“Parents,” he muttered to James, sounding a little embarrassed. “What to do about them?”

James smiled, shrugging. “Dunno. By the way, congrats on the badge.” He nodded towards the Prefect Badge on Remus’ chest. “Knew it’d be you.”

“Yeah, well…”

They helped each other put the luggage on the train and started looking for a compartment.

“Which of the girls?” James asked.

Remus glanced inside a compartment, but continued. “Evans. Ran into her in Diagon Alley a few days ago. She was with Snape so we didn’t talk much, but she did ask if it was me…”

“Of course she’d be the one to get it,” James muttered, absentminded, trying to pull his trunk after him. “She’s such a swot.”

“Here,” Remus muttered, pushing aside the doors and walking inside. “Is that Sirius?”

James stepped inside the compartment, looking at the platform over Remus’ shoulder. “Yep. Arguing with his mother. Everything’s just as usual.” He put down his owl on the seat and sat down next to. “Seen Peter?”

“No, but he’s always late, so…”

“Not always!” Peter entered the compartment, dragging his trunk after him. He smiled at his friends. “I decided today was perfect for breaking a tradition.”

“Wow, Peter. I’m pleasantly surprised.” James grinned and leaned back, throwing his feet onto the opposite seat, relaxing. “This year is gonna be our year, I promise.”

Peter raised his eyebrows. “Isn’t it every year?”

He grinned. “Yeah, but… You know, with Prettyboy Prefect here on our side…”

Remus scowled slightly as his nickname.

“Ahh, I see.”

It knocked on the door, and it slid open. Evans stood with her hand on the door as she looked at Remus. “Hey, Remus.”

“Lily,” Remus greeted.

She sent him a smile, asking, “How was your summer?”

She didn’t even spare the other two a glance. This brought a strange dissatisfaction to James for a short second and he looked out of the window to find Sirius, but he was gone from there, and he only saw Evans’ reflection in the window. He ran a hand through his hair, scratching the back of his head, a little confused about the slight… was it frustration he felt?

Remus smiled. “Great, thanks. Yours?”

She shrugged, and it was clear to James that she hadn’t come to talk about the summer. “It was just fine. Look, I was wondering if you’d like to go to the Prefect’s compartment with me now? The train’s leaving in a few minutes, and we have to be there.”

He nodded, getting up. “Yeah, sure. See you later, guys.”

James lifted his hand in goodbye, his eyes shortly on Evans before she disappeared from sight, and then tearing his eyes away, focusing on Peter instead.

“Good summer?”

Peter shrugged. “The usual, nothing out of the ordinary.”

A silence settled in the compartment until the door once again slid open, this time without the polite knocking first. Sirius entered, just as the train started moving, dragging his trunk after him.

“Do you mind if I sit here?” he asked with a grin.

“Be my guest,” James answered, smirking.

“Prefect Boy already left?”

James nodded. “Evans dragged him along. Apparently she’s Prefect too.”

“Can’t say I’m surprised. The girl’s got a knack for maintaining rules, whereas we…”

“Have got a knack for breaking them.” James finished, smiling. “I wonder if Dumbledore actually thinks Remus is fit for the job, or if he just picked the one of us with the least detentions on our records…”

“Bet he thinks Remus can put us a little in place. Get some control over us.”

Peter snorted. “Good luck to him then.”

“My words, exactly.” Sirius found a magazine in his bag and opened it up in front of him. “Let’s just hope it doesn’t get to his head. We can’t have a teachers’ lapdog with us on our missions.”

“Missions,” James muttered with a roll of his eyes, and then, after a few seconds, glanced towards the door and leaned forward, waving the other who in with a gesture. “Let’s just concentrate on our other little mission first,” he continued in a low voice. “I think, after a bit more practise, that we’re ready to go. I’ve really studied over summer and… I think it’s time.”

Peter bit his lower lip, looking anxious, but Sirius nodded. “We don’t want any mistakes, but yeah… it’s gonna be soon.”

As the hours passed quickly, slowly the rain outside grew heavier and louder in the train. The foodtrolley passed, making Sirius buy half its content, and a little later, Remus returned, still accompanied by Evans. James looked up, nodding at Remus and glancing at Evans shortly, but as he had found her looking right back at him for the fraction of a second, he looked away quickly. After a second or so he glanced up again, finding she had already moved on, continuing down the train.

With a frown he leaned a little back in his seat, glancing after her out of the door, only catching sight of her dark, red hair, dancing down her back as she was walking with rapid pace. He wondered for a second how it would be, walking at her side, asking her how her summer had been, but the thought was gone almost the same second it had pierced his mind, and he shook his head, a little weirded out by his own thoughts.

Instead he turned to Remus, saying. “So, Prefect, huh…”

Remus nodded. “I guess.”

“What’s it like, I mean, having to work with Evans and such? And who from the other houses?” The last thing he only asked, because he himself thought it weird to even ask about Evans.

Remus shrugged. “Well, we do have a few duties we have to help out with, but other than that I don’t think I’ll have to work much with her. And the other Prefects… do I even need to mention who from Ravenclaw?”

“Quirke and Hanson,” Sirius answered quickly, glancing up from his magazine. “Can I have Slytherins for another two points? Rosier and McCaine.”

Remus nodded.

“No way!” James exclaimed. “No way!

“Sorry. And Connell and Mueller from Hufflepuff.”

“Mueller, that’s the little small one, isn’t it?” Peter asked.

“Yeah.”

“How did she manage that?” Sirius asked. “She’s dumb as a door.”

“Well, she’s probably much better than we give her credit for, after all, Dumbledore doesn’t just pick a random on the list…”

“I don’t know,” Sirius muttered, poking Remus.

James looked away, losing interest in the conversation, whilst the other continued talking. After an hour of watching people pass on the hall in complete silence from James, he got up, looking around.

“I’m bored. Let’s go do something…”

Sirius grinned and got up, mischief already written in his eyes. “Absolutely.”

James looked at the other two. “Are you coming?”

Peter got up at once, leaving only Remus who looked between the others before he slowly got up too. With James in lead the four left the compartment, and they walked down the train.

“Oh, that’s lucky,” Sirius muttered suddenly after they had walked a few minutes.

“Perfect,” James agreed, looking at the fat Slytherin who was walking slowly a little in front of them.

Both Remus and Peter kept quiet, falling a step or two behind

Without a sound Sirius pulled out his wand, pointing it at the Slytherin. “Cadita,” he muttered.

He didn’t notice his robes twisting slightly around his legs before he was actually tripping, landing head first, onto the floor. But he had barely even cried out in pain before he had grabbed his wand, turning it at James.

Stupify!

Protego!” James was quicker and the Stunner bounced off, hitting the door instead, making the students behind it peek out at the scene unfolding. “Expelliarmus.

The wand flew out of his hands, lancing a feet in front of Sirius, who picked it up. “Wow,” he said and sighed. “That was almost too easy. You lost your touch, Beckley?”

Beckley looked at Sirius with utmost disgust. “Give me back my wand you filthy blood traitor!”

Sirius laughed, throwing the wand up and down, catching it over and over again. “You’d get a lot farther with a ‘please’, you know,” he said with a smile.

Beckley got up, his whole body tense, glaring at them, but he said nothing.

“Just say ‘please’. Let us hear you beg to get your wand back,” James said, smirking scornfully. “And if you’re lucky, you can get it. Come on, then. Just say ‘please’.”

But Beckley said nothing at first. Sirius rolled his eyes, and with a flick of his wand, Beckley’s legs were swept away under him and he tumbled to the floor again. Before even getting up, he looked at them with pure loathing and then spat on the floor in front of him. “You’re worth less than that, and you’d have to kill me before I’d beg you for anything.”

Sirius looked at James. “I think we need to teach him a lesson.”

“I think you’re right, Sirius…” James nodded, once again raising his wand. “Furn-”

Impedimenta!

Both James and Sirius were knocked backwards, into Remus and Peter. Before James had had a time to get up a girl rushed past him, kicking away both his and Sirius’ wands, and picking up Beckley’s. Evans was looking down at them, her eyes filled with anger. James and Sirius fought to get up, but they were struggling, held back by the strong force of her jinx.

“How dare you?” she hissed at them.

“We were just having a bit of fun,” Sirius panted, seeing as James came with no response. “Why are you always ruining the fun, Evans?”

She gave both James and Sirius another angry glare before turning around. James watched as she dropped the wand next to the Slytherin and then turned back to them. She glared first at Sirius, then at James.

“Don’t make me dock points before the year has even begun,” she threatened, then looked at Remus. “Way to start your day on the job, Remus.”

Remus opened his mouth to respond, but words seemed to have left him.

She rolled her eyes, looking at James and Sirius a last time, muttering, “Pathetic,” and then walked away again.

“Was she talking about us?” asked James, still struggling to get up.

“Who else?” Sirius smirked. “Well, you gotta give it to her. She’s feisty.”

Without really knowing where it came from, James smiled, recalling the short moment Evans had looked at him. That was some emotion!

“Absolutely…” James finally managed to get up, though still feeling the jinx had a little hold in him and looked after Evans, but she had long gone. He turned to Remus and Peter. “Thanks for the backup, guys,” he bit a little too harshly.

“I’m prefect,” Remus muttered. “I can’t… you know. You saw how Evans…”

“Yeah, of course. Sorry,” James said, meaning it. He straightened his robes, suddenly feeling a slight frustration with the whole episode and walked back towards their compartment without another word.

He couldn’t quite put words on the feeling that bubbled inside of him. It had never before bothered him whenever Evans came to the rescue of Snape or any of his housemates more than was normal because it had always been like that; them getting into a duel with someoen, and then Evans coming along and in some way breaking it all up, always walking away with a nasty remark towards James and his friends. But somehow he was a little annoyed by it now, and no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t put his finger on exactly why

As the train moved farther north, slowly the rain stopped, and after a few hours of sun, it set and the darkness settled upon them, and finally they reached Hogsmeade. James, Sirius, Peter and Remus managed to get a carriage for themselves after pushing a couple of third years away and were safe within the walls of the castle very fast.

“You’ve been unusually quiet, James,” Remus said as they seated themselves in the Great Hall, close to the teachers’ table. “It doesn’t look like you.”

James shrugged, grunting something which couldn’t even be counted as an answer, and turned his attention to the ceiling instead of having to answer properly.

As the Great Hall slowly filled up, James turned his attention to the students around him, finding the seats next to him occupied by the third years they had pushed away from their carriage just a little while earlier. The boy looked frightened upon realising who his seatmate was, and he scooted a little away, only to move into the sixth year sitting next to him.

James smirked to himself, and turned the other way, noticing Evans, who was seated only few seats away from him on the opposite side of the table. He frowned, a little bit, wondering why he seemed to see her everywhere today. James had sat for a few seconds, watching her, lost in his thoughts, so it came suddenly, surprising him; Evans laughed at something one of her friends had said, and her eyes seemed to scan the table, James included, sending a jolt through his stomach, making him turn away quickly.

For a long time he simply stared at his empty plate, just concentrating on getting that weird feeling under control, and finally, when he looked up again his eyes settled on Evans, who was busy watching the sorting which had started.

Tilting his head a little to the one side, and placing it in the palm of his hands, he took her appearance in.

He had never really thought Lily Evans as pretty. Well, she wasn’t ugly either, just not really that amazing. He wasn’t fond of the dark red hair she was sporting, and that, along with her fiery temper, had given him and his friends reason to laugh more times than he could count. Her nose seemed a too short, somehow, in her face, and the constellation of freckles over it hadn’t done anything to help it either.

But when looking closer, besides the usual features he always had known (which he suddenly found slightly more alluring than he had done months ago), he could easily find a whole new set of aspects about her he had failed to notice before. For example; her eyes! Angry, as they were often when looking at him, they had a sparkle he had never really seen before, and he had to admit that he did love the colour green very much. And the way her lips parted when she spoke, see that was something that could keep him mesmerised for a long time.

He rubbed his face in his hands, sighing loudly, completely at loss from where all these thoughts suddenly sprang out from. Something was definitely off.

“Merlin,” he muttered, forcing himself to finally look away, and instead focusing his eyes on a second year picking his nose at the Hufflepuff table, though, despite great efforts, he found it hard to keep his mind on it.

The last student rushed down to the Gryffindor table, and a short speech later, the tables were filled with food. Realising just how starving he felt, James filled up his plate to the extreme, digging in. He kept up with the conversations his friends had started, though even to him his efforts seemed forced, and his mind kept wandering, and his eyes drifted too often down the table, landing on Evans before he snapped out of it, focusing on his plate.

As the plates cleared, and the whole Great Hall started moving, James was the first to get up. He was halfway out of the Great Hall before he realised he had forgotten to get the password from Remus. Sighing he turned around, quickly finding him, at the teachers’ table, talking to McGonagall. James sighed and found Evans in the crowd, leading the first years out of the Great Hall.

He could just ask her then… The idea made him want to smile and frown at the same time. Shaking it off, he walked to her side.

“Evans, could I have the password please?” he asked carefully.

“Jobberknoll,” she said, glancing at James only shortly.

He sent her somewhat of a forced smile. “Thanks.”

She didn’t respond but turned to the first years instead. “Keep up please!”

James speeded up, pushing his way out of the Great Hall faster than anyone else, and finding all the shortcuts, resulting in him being the first one back to the tower. He slumped down in a chair in the darkest corner of the common room, closing his eyes.

Not much later the rest of the house began filling in through the portraithole. Sirius and Peter spotted James and walked over to him.

“You were gone quickly,” Sirius said, sitting down. “What’s with the mood today?”

James shrugged. “I’ve absolutely no idea,” he muttered, only partly lying. “I’m just… not…”

“Your usual self? So I’ve noticed.” He got up. “Well, we’re crashing now, so…”

James nodded as they left him, sitting with his own very confusing thoughts. He looked up as the last group of students – first years – started filling in, led by Evans. He stopped, waiting for the all to come through, helping a small girl just as she was about to fall. Remus came in last, smiling. He exchanged a few words with Evans before leading the boys towards the boys’ dorm.

Completely failing to notice James, Remus lead the boys past him, leaving James alone with a couple of seventh years down in the common room.

James got up, ready to go to bed too, casting a last look at the staircase to the girls dorm, finding Evans still standing there, helping the small girl getting untangled from her too big robes. And just as he was about to turn, leaving the common room, Evans looked up, their eyes meeting, and he stopped, all thoughts about leaving completely gone, and he suddenly realised what was wrong.

As she disappeared from view, he covered his mouth with his one hand, rubbing his cheeks as his lips formed a silent ‘o’.

That weird, tingling feeling and the strange pull towards her and the illogical need to look at her, and wanting her to look back at him…

Holy Hippogriff,” he whispered to himself, almost inaudible. “I’m falling for Lily Evans.”

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