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One Snowy Day


“Evans!”

She looks up at me, her hair shining in the bright sunlight. “What is it, Potter?” she asks, in an unfriendly tone, but I don’t care. I’ve been listening to her talk for the past six years, and her voice sounds like music to my ears, whether she’s nice or not. I sigh.

“Don’t waste my time, Potter. I’m very busy.”

I nod, well aware that I was smiling at her like a love-struck school boy. Even though I’m not really considered a boy. Lily just makes me so happy, no matter how angry she gets at me. She is just so adorable, and cute, and beautiful...

“Potter, wake up! What is it? I don’t have all day, you know!”

I shake my head and look down, so I can’t be distracted again. “Lily, will you go with me this weekend to Hogsmeade?” I say, rushing through my words so I can hear her response as soon as possible. But she says nothing. I wait a few more moments, and then look up at her. She still says nothing. I frown, feeling my shoulders hunch forward from my disappointment. “Please, Lily, just this once? You’ve never even tried going out with me, and if you try once, just once, maybe you’d like it. Please?” I look at her again, knowing my begging would have no impact on her. She just looks at me, and for the first time in my life, I am really upset by her rejection. I have never seen her look so... repulsed, or something. She’s looking at me as if I had spoken a different language, or something.

Wait, maybe that is it. She does look kind of confused. Maybe I am speaking a different language. Maybe Sirius put a spell on me or something. I look around, but can’t see him anywhere. I feel myself slouch even further.

Why is she looking at me like that? She looks so confused, so upset... I sigh again, realizing that I can’t take this anymore. I won’t be able to ask her out anymore. My nerves just can’t take the stress of waiting for her to say something, anything. Even a “no” would suffice. Okay, maybe not a “no,” but I just wish she says something. I look around again, trying to find someone I know.

And then it hits me. I am embarrassed. Totally and thoroughly humiliated. Lily has rejected me again. But the way she looked at me really hurt. It was if I really cared what she thought of me. That I wish she cares an ounce for me like I care for her.

Almost as if I love her.

“Lily, fine. If you don’t want to go out with me, then fine. I won’t ask you again.” I look away from her, feeling an odd tingling behind my eyes, as if I’m going to cry. But why would I? I have never cried in the face of rejection before, have I? Maybe this is just the last straw. I guess I just can’t take the hurt anymore. I look back at Lily. She still hasn’t moved.

I feel my heart slowly emptying, as if whatever I felt inside for Lily had burned a hole and was slowly dripping out, leaving a giant gap behind. I feel now, more than ever, the urge to cry.

I feel something wet hit my face and slide down. I stop moving, horrified that maybe I am crying. I placed a hand on my cheek and feel water drip onto my finger. Then water drips on my arm. And my forehead. And on Lily’s face.

It is snowing.

“First snow of the season,” I murmur. I love snow when it just starts, when it comes down for the first time in winter. I have always promised myself, each year, that I would kiss a girl, preferably Lily, during the first snow fall.

And here is the snow.

And Lily hates my guts. Still.

I begin to sigh again when I notice something hot slide down my face. I turn away totally from Lily, wiping the tears that have somehow managed to see the light of day. And I thought that because it was my seventh year, I was sure to get that kiss. After hoping and wishing and dreaming about it for so many years, I thought that maybe my wish would come true. After waiting for forever for Lily to say just one thing nice to me, she completely rejects me. After bottling up my hurt for seven years, it finally came tumbling out. Unfortunately, crying was the form it took.

“Fine,” I repeat, not looking at Lily. “Fine. I get it already. You don’t want to go out with me. You never did, and you never will. I get it. I just thought...” I take a deep breath, glad that everyone else had taken shelter inside the castle once the snow began. I open my mouth to speak again, but find that all my words are blocked. I can’t even manage a simple “bye.” So I start to walk away. If Lily wants nothing else from me, if she is just going to gape at me like I was some freak, then, although I severely regret it, I’ll have to leave her.

“Wait, James.”

I stop. I don’t want to look at her, and I certainly don’t want her to see me, not with humiliation dripping down my cheeks. “Yes?” I say, a little too harshly, a little too mean.

“You called me Lily.”

I turn around at this. “So what?!” I explode. “So what? Is it a crime to call you that? It’s your name. People call you that all the time. So why should I give you special favor by referring to you by your last name? Get used to it, Lily.” I turn again abruptly, and prepare to walk away.

“But, James, I like it when you call me Lily.” I stop and twirl around to face her.

“What?”

“James, I–”

“You called me James,” I say, shocked beyond disbelief. “But, you never call me James.”

“James, I’d... I guess I’d... Wait. Did you say this is the last time you’re going to ask me out? Ever?”

I nod, hoping more snow blows onto my face so that I can wipe the snowflakes and tears away at the same time, before she notices. But I have a feeling it’s too late. It appears as if she’s already seen my tears. “It’s too much for me. I can’t handle the rejection anymore.”

Lily nods, as if she understands. She reaches up a hand, and she touches my cheek. I flinch. She slowly, tenderly, flicks a tear off my face. I just stare at her, shocked that she would even think of touching me, let alone wiping away the water flowing from my eyes, instead of just making fun of me.

“Well, I guess since this is the last time you’re ever going to ask me out, I should say yes to your offer, because I don’t know when I’ll get another chance like this.”

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” I whisper, holding her other hand, the one that had a moment ago been dangling uselessly at her side.

“Well, I don’t know about that. I mean, how many times has this chance come up before this? A million? A billion?” Lily asks with a laugh. I love her laugh. It’s so happy, so joyous. So full of life.

“So is that a yes?” I ask, crossing the fingers on my one free hand behind my back.

Lily looks up at me, into my eyes for the first time ever, and I feel like I could stay like this forever, looking into her gorgeous green eyes, holding her hand, hoping beyond hope that she’ll agree to go out with me.

“Well?” I prod, anxious, feeling the hope in my stomach start to deflate, along with whatever was left of my heart.

She says nothing, and looks away. I start to feel embarrassed again, but I feel, more than anything, depressed. I drop her hand and turn away again.

“Oh,” I say. “I get it.” Even though I don’t. Even though, for the first time in my life, I felt happy beyond belief, and a feeling of connectedness that I had never known existed, coursing through my veins, from me to her. I look around, seeing how peaceful, quiet, and beautiful everything around me is. Unlike how I feel inside.

“James, wait.”

“Why? Do you want to make fun of me? Do you want to yell at me and be angry? Are you going to tell everyone that you’ve turned me down for the last time? Are you going to tell everyone you broke my heart?” I ask, my words not loud enough to reach her ears. No matter how upset I am, I don’t want her to feel bad on my account.

“James, did you ever notice how beautiful the world is when it snows for the first time?”

Lily’s voice is sweet, quiet. If I wasn’t so upset I would have realized that she has never taken this tone with me before. But I feel empty. My world has ended. She doesn’t want to go out with me, and she hates me. I can tell. “I did, actually.” I can hear it in my voice.

I even sound dead.

Lily starts to laugh. I feel even more horrible, if that’s possible. The tears overflow, running down my face in hot, wet streaks. Why does she have to do this? Why does she have to be so mean?

She notices me stiffen up, and she apologizes for laughing. “It’s just, well, it’s silly.”

“Not as silly as I feel for thinking I have so much as a chance with you.”

“I always wished,” she says, again, not responding to me, “that some year, when the snow first comes down, I would be able to kiss someone. It just seems so... picturesque, you know? Like a snow globe, or something. Isn’t that silly?” she asks. But she doesn’t laugh again. I know she’s entirely serious.

“No,” I say. “That’s not silly at all. It’s something I’ve wanted to happen too.” I go to chance a look at her, but I can’t make myself face her. “I guess both our dreams won’t come true.”

“James.” Her voice is just so soft and so sweet that I have to face her. And that’s when I see. Her eyes are also filled with tears, and her face is wetter than mine is. And I can see the pain in her face. As if I hurt her, by saying that.

I guess I gave her back what she gave me.

“Lily.”

“I will go with you to Hogsmeade. So can you stop being mad at me?”

“Mad?” I ask. She looks so upset, so forlorn. I never wanted to hurt her, not ever. I feel so bad for making her feel this way, that I promise myself that I will never again do anything that would hurt her. “I’m not mad at you. I could never be mad at you.”

“Really?” she asks, her eyes bright and wide.

“Really.” And before I can think myself out of it, I reach out, lightly cup her face in my hand, and kiss her, her lips salty and wet from her tears, but the kiss is sweet all the same.

And when she kisses me back, I feel happier than I ever have. I look up at her, breaking our kiss, and smile.

And she’s smiling at me, beginning to laugh. And I join her, using the laughter as a release of the joy I feel filling up inside me, healing my heart and making me feel so happy, and so full of love.

Then, giggling, she pulls out her wand and waves it, and a small circle surrounds us. It keeps the snow off of us, which we can see just outside the circle. I laugh as well, and grab her hands.

“You don’t know how long I’ve waited for this,” I murmur happily.

She looks up at me and smiles slyly. “I think I do.”

And we hug, happy to have found each other at long last, the snow falling from the sky outside our transparent circle, the sun shining brightly, looking down on us in our little patch of happiness; our very own wonderful snow globe.

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