Lily sat at one of the back tables of the library trying to do her work. She was getting behind in her classes and mostly in Defense Against the Dark Arts. It was her worst subject by far. She didn't know why, but she just couldn't keep up. Maybe it was this year's teacher: a strict ex-auror who scared the living daylights out of her. If it weren't for Remus helping her out though, she and her perfect record would be doomed.
As commonly known, Lily was a little Miss Perfect and she liked it that way. She liked being stubborn and always right. It made her life easier. She slept at night peacefully, she didn't cry over lost boyfriends and she didn’t fuss over school drama. No, she didn’t want that- or that's what she told herself at least.
Biting the tip of her tongue her eyes scanned the pages of her textbook as she scribbled down notes. James thought it was adorable how she bit her tongue like that. And the hair draping down in front of her eyes? He just wanted to tuck it behind her ear and then give her a soft little...
"You have to promise to be good," Remus stated for the umpteenth time during their walk from the lake to the library. When he told the Marauders he was tutoring Lily, they all didn't believe it. Then when he finally convinced them, James started having a mental breakdown of what if's. Mostly- what if she liked Remus? To prove him wrong, Moony allowed his worrywart friend to accompany him... if he promised to be good.
"I promise, I promise," James was bouncing on his heals, raring to talk to her. Remus had a feeling this was a bad idea, but it was too late to turn back now. With a sigh he began walking to Lily's table, James following like an obedient puppy.
"Afternoon Lily," Remus smiled as he sat down across from her. James took the uninvited liberty to sit down next to her. Lily's eyes lifted from her paper to James’ wide-eyed stare and then she turned to Remus questioning him. He knew she didn't want anyone knowing she needed help in classes. It was just a little catch up work and then she would be fine again. No big deal.
And what good would James be? Sometimes he was worse than Sirius when it came to not getting work done.
"Remus... I thought we were going to work on homework together," she bit her lip, eyes shifting to James who was being unusually smiley and quiet. It almost frightened her how giddy he seemed to be.
"We are, it's just James is much better at Defense than I am," Remus removed his books from his bag nonchalantly. Lily was staring at him in unbelief, brows furrowed in frustration. Yes James was good at Defense Against the Dark Arts, but he was also boisterous and left work until the last minute.
"I've already finished my essay," he stated. Lily turned to watch him. He hadn't stated the fact proudly, just as if it were a fact. She bit her lip not knowing what to think. Was this another trap? When were all the students going to chorus that she should go out with him?
"Okay..." she drew out expecting some catch. Instead James went through his bag and pulled out his own books and finished essay. Lily was in shock and James noticed; he chuckled slightly in response.
"What part are you having trouble with Lils?" he asked professionally, and if it had not been for his grin she would have thought this was not the real James Potter. He had to admit, he thought she looked rather adorable all confused like that. Lily had a right to be though- when had he ever called her 'Lils' before? Mostly he stuck to Lily with the occasional Evans- it was safer.
She coughed to hide her shock and shook her head to pretend like this was all business. "The wand movement part," she told him, pointing to the picture in her book to James. She looked up at Remus who seemed consumed in his book and not even ready to help her like he promised. No she was stuck with James, who actually was turning out to be a rather mature tutor.
James explained to Lily the complicated wand movements of the Defense Charm they were to write about. Her brow furrowed in all the right moments as she scribbled his words onto her page and crossed things out with nice straight lines. Even her mistakes were perfect.
It was hours later when the two finally finished writing Lily's paper, her making sure she understood every bit of the Defense Charm incase she was asked to explain it. She didn't want to look like she had cheated, but then again even if she did cheat who would ever think she did? When they both looked up they found Remus had left, neither realizing he had ever said goodbye.
"Thank you James, for helping me," Lily smiled lightly and awkwardly as both of them began walking back to the common room together. James couldn't believe the afternoon he had just had. Though he had been doing schoolwork all afternoon, he had spent it with Lily. Which made it more than amazing. The way she listened to him explain things, her giggles when he made a joke, James was more than sure he was in love and always had been.
"No problem Lily, anytime," he smiled at her through his rimmed glasses with his hazel eyes. A small blush laced her cheeks that made him grin wider. It was a known fact that Lily Evans did not blush. Nor did she flirt or give any boys the time of day- well that was if they had the courage to hit on her. Not only was she known to be all schoolwork, but it was pretty much known Lily was James’ if she knew it or not. However, she was doing all the things she normally didn't do- blush, talk, laugh- with James. It made his heart warm.
They walked in a comforting silence all the way back. James held open the portrait for her when she entered and walked her all the way to the stairs that let to her dorms. He bit his lip. This would be the perfect moment to ask her out. She couldn't resist. They had had such a good day together; he could still see the blush in her cheeks.
"Lily..." he started out, but he couldn't do it. Lily looked at him surprised and expectant of something. He realized it was not the bland face he usually received. Something had changed between them. Something he liked. As much as he wanted to ask her out, he didn't want to ruin this. "You know that day on the train? With the lipstick? That was my mum's."
That had been bothering James. He didn’t want Lily to think he was a prick who got with random girls all the time. He had gone out with a few girls, but he wasn't one for one night stands. He didn't want her to think he was like that because then she might think that's what he wanted from her. He didn't want that though. He wanted so much more than that. He wanted a relationship, a love, and a forever.
Lily laughed lightly, shaking her head causing some of her hair to fall out of the bun it was tucked into. Her eyes looked into his. He was so open and innocent looking she couldn't help placing one of her hands on his cheek sweetly. "I know it was James."
"Then why- why did you? Does that mean-" he was flabbergasted. She had acted like- he didn't even know how she acted exactly; she just didn't give him an answer.
"Goodnight James," she sung, still smiling, and started up the stairs. James stood watching his fire goddess ascended the stairs, the warmth of her hand still lingering pleasantly on his cheek.
"If you don't ask her out again soon I'm going to do it for you," Sirius stated as the four Marauders walked down the hall together. James simple glared at Sirius’s remark. It had been a week since he helped her with her homework. They had begun talking on a regular basis together about not just about classes, but everything. He knew her favorite color now- blue- and favorite candy- chocolate frogs.
She knew about him too. She was just as interested about him, asking questions constantly and laughing with him when they shared little stories. She told him about the times she thought he was mostly immature, but rather funny all the same. They were getting off rather nice together, but James still couldn't bring himself to ask her to Hogsmeade again. He was scared she'd say no and what they had would be ruined. He also remembered his promise that this would be the last time he asked her.
"Maybe we could just lock them in a broom closet together," Remus noted with a wolfish grin. He was enjoying the in between days of the full moon happily.
"No, she'd probably hex him," Peter piped in. James turned his glare to Peter then and the laughter from the squeaky boy stopped. She wouldn't hex him. No, things were different now. Things were-
"James!" He looked up hearing his name being called from down the crowded hall. In front of him Lily was sprinting towards him, her red hair blazing through the mess of other students. Without thinking she threw her arms around him and wrapped her legs around his waist smiling widely. James caught her in his arms laughing at her absurdity with question laced in his hazel eyes along with the laughter. It was not a normal thing for Lily Evans to jump right into his arms.
"Top Marks, I got top marks on my essay!" She giggled in his arms as he held her light as a feather. Her green eyes were shinning down at him, smiling wide and James couldn't help grinning back. Her grip around him was tight, her locking him to her as they celebrated with cheer.
It was in that moment of their smiles that everything stopped. The entire world froze and it was only them in their happiness. Then, without thinking, without planning it, without worrying that the entire hall and James' three closet friends were watching, James kissed her.
After several long moments, with wolf-whistles from Sirius and Remus and the need for air, they broke apart. Lily's cheeks were bright red as looked down at him returning a happy smile to James. She tucked her hair behind her ears embarrassed at what she just did, but Lily couldn't deny how fast her heart was beating or how in those moments when her lips pressed to his, it even seemed to stop.
"Does this mean you'll finally go out with me now?" James was grinning like Christmas came early and in his mind, it completely had. He had been waiting for this moment for two years and it could not have happened any more perfectly.
"I never said I wouldn't," she teased him with giggles. James grinned widely before pressing his lips to hers once more.
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