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A/N: Why hello there! I'm sorry I havne't updated in so long; I was having writer's block.  So, here's the third chapter.  Enjoy!


Lily awoke the next morning with the sun shining through the window behind her bed. She yawned and stretched her arms. Turning on her side, she remembered what had happened the night before. She looked at her bedside clock; it read 9:34. James was obviously in his first class. 



Lily sat up and she noticed that there was a folded scrap of parchment tucked under a pot of flowers on her nightstand. She grabbed it and read:



Dear Lily,


 I hope you’re feeling better this morning. Sorry I had to leave; class was starting and I didn’t want to wake you. I’ll be back at lunch. Maybe you’ll be feeling well enough to eat. Have a good day!


Love,
James

P.S. Let me know when you’re ready to talk. I think you know what I mean.



Lily sat with the letter on her lap for several minutes. James was so sweet to stay last night with her. Who could ask for a more perfect guy? Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to admit that she truly did want to be with him. Almost everything inside her was telling her to go for it, but one stubborn little particle was making her stop.



Was it because he was too perfect? Too good to be true, maybe? Or perhaps Lily didn’t think she deserved him. Oh, that’s ridiculous! She thought. 



More likely, it was that she didn’t trust him. Well, sure, Lily trusted James with simple things, but she didn’t trust him to stick with their relationship. All his previous girlfriends had never lasted more than a month. And during all those months, he had continued to ask her out. 



In her confusion, Lily began to converse with her mind, a thing she did quite often. After listing pros and cons, (there were more pros than cons) and debating with herself for too long, Lily finally asked herself an important question.



The bottom line is, do you like him?


Yes.


Then what are you waiting for?


I don’t know.


If you wait too long, he’s going to move on. 


I know.


Then do something about it, Lily! This is your last chance! James isn’t going to be there forever, you know.


I know.



Lily battled with herself for most of the morning. She still had not come to a decisive conclusion when she heard the lunch bell ring. Quickly, Lily pulled her hair back and changed into a new shirt, hoping not to look too grungy. 



Just as she discarded her old shirt under her bed, she heard footsteps and voices from outside of her bed curtains coming towards her bed. 



“Shut up, Sirius!” She heard James say, in a stage whisper. “She might be asleep.” Sirius quieted his rowdy laughter. Lily’s bed curtains were pulled back tentatively by Sarah, with Remus, James, and Sirius following her. 



Sarah’s face brightened as she saw that Lily was sitting up with a smile on her face, and she scurried over to her friend, giving her a giant bear hug.



“Oh, I’m so glad you’re feeling better!” Sarah exclaimed as she finally pulled away from Lily. Lily smiled genuinely. 



“So am I,” she said honestly. The boys came over to the bed.



“Merlin, Lily,” Sirius said, sitting on the edge of her bed. “Did you know that you talk in your sleep?” Lily looked surprised. 



“I do?” She honestly hadn’t known that.



“Yeah, you kept saying—“ He was silenced as James frantically covered Sirius’s mouth with his hand. Sirius threw James an annoyed look and tried to pull away. Sarah’s face was apprehensive and she tried to smile to ease the tension, but Lily caught the fakeness. Remus and Sarah shared a glance, and James let go of Sirius as the latter made muffled noises under his hand.


 

“Prongs, what the heck was that for?” He asked indignantly. James glanced at Lily’s confused face and then to Remus. Remus gave a tiny shake of his head, and James returned his gaze back to Sirius.



“We’ll talk about it later,” he muttered. There was a short awkward silence and then Sarah laughed ineptly. 



“So,” she said, turning back to Lily. “Are you ready for some lunch?” Lily’s stomach growled before she could say yes. Remus, Sarah, and Sirius laughed. James cracked a smile.



“I guess that means yes!” Sarah acknowledged. She summoned a house elf and ordered to have some food sent up. 



Forty-five minutes later, Lily slurped up the rest of her broccoli soup. The other four had finished their food already, besides Sirius, who was currently eating what was left of Sarah’s bread bowl. 



As Sarah chattered on about everything that Lily had missed in the past two days, Lily could not get James off her mind. He seemed so solemn. He wasn’t as lively as usual and his smile didn’t reach as far. Sirius didn’t seem to notice, and if Sarah did she just ignored it, but Lily could tell that Remus knew something was going on. He kept glancing at James with a worried expression. Seeing James and Remus acting not quite themselves made Lily feel bad. Was it something she had done?



A few minutes passed as Lily pondered and worried and finally Remus stood up.



“You guys do realize that we have class in a few minutes, right?” 



“Ah, shoot!” Sirius said. He stood up and realized that he was still holding Sarah’s plate. “Oh, um…here,” he said, holding it out to her. Sarah raised an eyebrow and took the plate. The first bell for class rung through the castle and the boys made to say goodbye quickly. 



“Get better soon, ‘kay?” Remus said. Lily nodded as he gave her a quick hug. She looked at Sarah who hadn’t moved from her spot on the bed.



“Aren’t you going too?” She asked. 



“No, I have a free period right now, remember?” Lily’s prospect of a boring afternoon flittered away. Well, at least one hour of it. 



“Perfect! Now I won’t rot in this old place all by myself!” Sarah laughed. Remus and Sirius were already heading towards the door, but James was still standing next to the bed. He smiled as Lily met his eyes, and he leaned over to give her a hug. His smile looked real, but somehow shadowed as he pulled away. 



“I’ll come back later if you want me to,” he mentioned. Lily noted that his voice sounded kind of empty. Like there was no way she wanted him to come see her later. How he could feel that way after he had stayed the night with her was confusing. 



“Of course I want you to come back!” Lily said. She emphasized her enthusiasm, hoping to cheer James up. He smiled his empty smile again and muttered a bland okay. As he turned to walk away, Lily caught his hand and he faced her again. Lily sat up straighter and leaned in, giving him a gentle kiss on the cheek. She didn’t know what had compelled her to do that, but somehow it felt right. It felt like everything that involved contact with James felt lately. His kiss by the lake, their hands entwined while she was sick, and of course the way he had held her all night long. 



As Lily let go of his hand and pulled away, James smiled. It was his old smile. The one that she loved so much. Lily smiled back and James gave a little wave as they both heard Sirius bellow for him from the doorway. 



Not five seconds after the boys had left, Sarah was sitting in the recliner next to Lily’s bed with a serious and slightly shocked face. 



“Lily,” she asked almost excitedly. “What on Earth is going on with you and James?” Lily was still watching the place where James had been seconds before. Sarah scoffed slightly at Lily’s trance-like expression. “Lily, oh my gosh!” Finally, Lily turned to face her friend’s happily astonished face. “I can’t believe it,” Sarah went on. “You’re in love with James!” 



Lily finally realized what her friend was saying and she snapped out of her reverie. She was about to deny Sarah’s statement when she realized she couldn’t. Maybe she didn’t love him quite yet, but there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to be with James for a very long time. 


 

Lily sighed. “Sarah,” she began kind of quietly. “You might be right. I might love James.” Lily put her hands in her lap leaned back in her pillow, letting that statement sink in. She looked up at Sarah’s I-knew-it grin. Lily picked up one of her pillows and threw it at her friend. It hit her face and then tumbled to the floor.



“Don’t look so proud of yourself,” Lily said with an admitting smile. “It was a long time coming.” Lily suddenly remembered James’s strange actions towards her during lunch. She sat up a bit straighter and got serious again.



“What was up with him today?” She asked her friend. Sarah looked kind of confused, so Lily clarified. “I mean, he was so...distant.” Lily was practically talking to herself now, her face contorted as she searched for the meaning of James’s strange behavior. “It probably had to do with last night,” Lily muttered quietly. 



“What happened last night?” Sarah asked curiously. Lily looked back to her friend. 



“Oh!” She cried. “I didn’t tell you!” She quickly explained what had happened the night that she got sick when James had kissed her by the lake and how he had lied with her and held her all of the previous night. Sarah’s face went into a large ‘o’ and then she grinned wickedly. But then she got that same searching expression. 



“Then why on Earth was he so odd today?” She asked.



“I have no idea!” Lily exclaimed frustratedly. “He asked me if he could come back. Why would he ask me that when he had refused to leave last night? He practically demanded that he stay with me.”



“Maybe he thought he came on too strong,” Sarah supplied. At this Lily snorted.



“Come on, Sarah,” she objected. “James had been groveling at my heels for six years. He didn’t think he was coming on too strong.” Sarah frowned, confused again.



“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” 


 
Lily twirled her hair around her finger as she thought harder about James’s strange behavior. You know, she told herself, you never actually told him that you liked him. I mean, sure, you acted a little bit like it, but it’s perfectly possible that he think you were just playing along.



Lily supplied Sarah with her theory, and the two of them decided that James had probably thought he had no chance with Lily. After all, Lily had refused him for six years without fail. Why should she like him now, just because they were friends?



Finally, Sarah had to go to her next hour, and Lily was left alone once more. Now that she had admitted to herself that she desperately did want to be with James, the only problem was telling him. In fact, it was kind of fun to imagine what he would say. She always knew his reaction after she said no, but surely yes would instigate a different emotion completely. 



Suddenly, memories flooded Lily’s mind:



Flashback


It was the beginning of fourth year and James Potter was approaching Lily Evans from across the common room. He hadn’t gotten a chance to ask her out at the Feast the night before because Lily had hidden in her dormitory from him. She didn’t see him coming now though, and he sauntered over to her chair with an aura of conceit. 

 

“Hey, Evans,” he said coolly. She looked up and groaned. 



“If you’re going to ask—“ Lily began, but James cut her off. 



“Come on baby, just one date. We can go to Hogsmeade!” He reached out to finger Lily’s red curls, but she pulled away. James leaned in and whispered near her ear. “No one can say no to James Potter.” Lily jumped up from her chair and grabbed her bag in anger. 



 


“Yeah? Well I just did!”


* * * * *


Sixteen year-old Lily Evans was sitting in the common room reading as usual. A loud commotion came from the portrait hole as James Potter and his cronies barreled inside. The could hear some laughter and yelling coming from outside before the portrait swung shut, and the four boys, laughing loudly, were trailing with smoke and an awful stench.



Lily rolled her eyes in disgust at their immaturity; obviously they had just played another “classic” prank on the school. From behind her, James jumped over the couch and landed next to Lily. She kept her eyes on her book, not really reading, but trying to ignore him.

 

Lily felt an arm wrap around her shoulder and she tried to shake it off nonchalantly. She knew her face didn’t show ignorance, but she was trying to make her actions behave. Finally James spoke. 



“Come on Lils, go out with me.” It was the classic question, no matter how it was worded. Lily turned her page and pushed away James’s hand that had crept onto her thigh. 

 

“In your dreams, Potter,” she responded coldly. James laughed confidently and then he whispered alluringly.



“You’re already in my dreams babe, now let’s make it reality.” Lily stormed out of the common room once again.


* * * * *


Sixth year had finally ended, and the Hogwarts students were headed home on the Hogwart’s Express. Sarah and Lily were sharing a compartment. Oddly enough, they were talking about James. Sarah had always supported a Lily/James relationship. 



Their door slid open and James and Sirius walked in and sat down across from the girls. Sarah giggled as Sirius winked at her, and Lily groaned, immediately turning her gaze to the window. Sarah talked to the boys for a moment, but Lily knew it was only a matter of time before James tried to ask her out. Lately he had been going for the quick-attack method, probably hoping to catch her off-guard.



“So, Lily,” he approached suddenly. “Go out with me.”   Lily looked up at him with a face that didn’t hide her loathing for him. Lily put on a cheesy fake grin.



“Or maybe,” she said retorted mockingly, “you could go out of here!” Sirius laughed at her snippety voice and he said goodbye to Sarah as he ushered James outside.  



End Flashback



Lily snapped out of her reverie near laughter. Now that James had grown up, it was fun to remember how he had been as a haughty little boy. Sighing, Lily laid back down to take a nap before classes were out. Then she would be discharged from the Hospital Wing and she could go find James. She had no idea what she was going to say to him, but maybe it would come in a dream. 



A/N: So, did you like it?  Please leave me a review! I know everyone says that, but I never get reviews anymore!  Please? Thanks for reading! (Oh yeah, you'll find out next chapter what Lily says in her sleep!)

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