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"Why me, James?"

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

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

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

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

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

He instantly felt slightly lost.

"I don't know."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Lily..."

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

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

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

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

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

"What are you talking about?"

"Destiny."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good idea actually...

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

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

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

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

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

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

She was silent, looking away from him now.

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

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

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

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

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

She smiled slightly. "Maybe, James."

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

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

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


Day 9- Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What do you think of him, Sirius?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things would be different...


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

"It's fun."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'd say the same about you."

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

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

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



Day 10- Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes?"

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

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

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

This year would be different because...

... she had James.


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