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If there was ever a word to describe James Potter, it would have to be persistent. True, there are other more colorful words to choose, such as: arrogant, toe-rag, or flammable, but persistent fits him best. I happen to be an expert in this matter.

I, Lily Evans Potter, have witnessed exactly how persistent James can be.

He spent years and years asking me the same question every day: “Want to go out with me?” Of course, he had various ways of saying it, but it was the same goal that he was after.
Once we started dating, the question changed. This one came less frequently, but I knew that it never left his mind. That question was:

“Will you marry me?”

”&”&”&”

“Congratulations, Class of 1978!”

With a loud whoop, I tossed my black graduation cap in the air. It joined the dozens of other black wizards’ caps sailing into the sky. I grabbed my best friend and hugged her tightly. “Laura! We did it!” I cried. “We’ve graduated!”

She hugged me back, sobbing into my shoulder. Our embrace was interrupted when someone tugged lightly on my arm. I turned to see James grinning at me. “Well, Evans,” he said cheerily. “We’re out of school- about to be thrown into the world of adulthood.”

“Oh, Merlin,” I said, clapping a hand to my forehead. “What were they thinking, putting you out there?”

“I’ve been asking myself the same thing,” said Remus Lupin, joining us with a small smile.

“What’re you talking about, Moony?” asked Sirius, his mouth already full of graduation cake. “It’ll be just like Hogwarts, only I won’t have to
put a cap on the dormitory door anytime I want to-“

“You will if you’re sharing a flat with Moony and me,” quipped Peter Pettigrew, who had just escaped the clutches of his teary-eyed mother.

“What about Prongs?” asked Sirius, spraying us with crumbs.

“You haven’t told him yet?” asked Remus of James, looking very surprised.

“Told me wha’?” asked Sirius. More crumbs on my graduation robes.

“I did,” said James, looking a little irked. “But he was in the middle of some stew and probably couldn’t hear me over the slurping.”

“Hear what?” asked Sirius, clearly frustrated.

I thought that I was beginning to catch on, so I tried to hide a smile as James said, “Will you all just go away? I have to ask Lils something.”

The other three hurried away. Remus was obviously filling Sirius in on what was going on. James watched them go, shaking his head, before turning to me and saying, “Look, Lily, I-“

“James, don’t even worry,” I said happily, glad that I had caught on to his little scheme. “I would love to move in with you.”

“You- what?” James stared at me.

Now I was thoroughly confused. “Isn’t that what you needed to ask me?” I asked, turning red.

“What? No,” said James, looking just as uncomfortable as I felt.

There was a shout from the other side of the room. It looked as though Remus had just finished updating Sirius. “Are you mad, Prongs?” he bellowed.

Remus grabbed him from behind and told him to shut it, while Peter gave James the thumbs up and an encouraging smile.

“James, what in Merlin’s name is going on?” I said, starting to get a little annoyed at being left in the dark.

He bent down on one knee. I assumed that he was going for his shoelace until he pulled out the little velvet box. He opened it slowly, while I stared dumbly at it. “Will you marry me?”

I gaped at him, looking from the gorgeous diamond ring to my ridiculous boyfriend and back again. I couldn’t find words. My brain was fuzzy. Finally, I managed to spit out one word-

“No.”

James’s face fell. This was obviously not what he had expected. He stood up, glancing over at his friends, who were watching expectantly. “Well, why not?” he asked quietly. “I thought that you loved me.”

“I do love you, you ninny,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“And I love you,” he said, with an edge to his voice. “So what’s the problem?”

“We’re too young,” I said simply. “I’ll live with you, James, but I won’t marry you yet.”

“Why not?” he asked, his eyes narrowing. “Are you waiting to meet someone else?” He always did have an obnoxious jealous streak.

“James, we have been over this,” I said, very irritated with him now. “I am going to Healing school. I’m not done learning.”

“What does that have to do with us?” he asked, voice rising.

“Don’t you dare shout at me!” I snapped, pointing a finger at him.

“I take it you’re not getting married then?”

Sirius said this in a rather cheery voice. It looked as though the others had scented danger and had headed over to put out the fire. I tried to ignore them.

“Look, James,” I said, trying to calm both of us down. “I want to marry you. I’m just not ready now.”

“Oh,” he said, his face relaxing slightly. “Well, when will you be ready?”

I bopped him gently on the head. “I’ll let you know.”

”&”&”&”

“James, are you home yet?” I called to an obviously empty apartment.

I had just returned from another long day of memorizing herb uses and ways to bind an injured limb. I plopped down at the table, certain that James was off somewhere with Sirius. The two of them were usually out this late on guard duty for the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore knew that they were all too willing to sacrifice their time, and, sometimes, I thought that he took advantage of their eagerness.

With a sigh, I set about fixing dinner, making a face at the dirty dishes that James had left in the sink. Although, by the scarcity of food in the pantry, it look as though Sirius had been there, too. “He just better not be bringing him home,” I muttered to myself.

I loved Sirius, of course, but he always managed to eat more than his share. I refused to cook big meals unless I had plenty of forewarning, and I made sure it was always James’s supper that was smaller when Sirius dropped by.

James walked in just as I was finishing the hot lamb stew, a useful way to get rid of leftovers. Thankfully, there was no Sirius in tow- just James and his hearty appetite.

“Mmm,” he said, hanging his cloak on the stand. “Something smells delicious.”

“You didn’t clean up your dirty dishes,” I said tartly, thumping his bowl of soup onto the table.

Some of it sloshed onto his chair. Too bad.

“I’m sorry, love,” he said, sneaking up behind me and hugging me to him. “Dumbledore contacted us so suddenly-“

That is another thing,” I said, beginning to get worked up. “How many times am I going to come home to find our pantries empty? Am I going to have to put an Anti-Glutton Hex on them?”

“Aw, come on, Lily,” he said, throwing his hands up. “It’s just how Sirius-“

“This is not a bachelor’s flat,” I snapped.

“No,” grumbled James. “The way you run it, it’s more like an old married folks’ home.” He brightened a little, and I knew what was coming next. “While I think of it, how about marrying me?”

Third time this month. “Not until you learn to wash your dishes,” I said, stomping out of the room.

”&”&”&”

Things got more and more difficult as some of our friends began to get married. Frank Longbottom and Alice Howard, two of our dearest friends, were the third couple to head down the aisle.

I knew, sitting in that quaint little church, that everyone expected James and me next. Even watching Alice’s beaming face as she took her wedding vows, I knew that I wasn’t ready yet. Laura squeezed my hand gently, knowing what I was thinking. But even she had become engaged to Amos Diggory, another Hogwarts graduate.

The fact that James and I were one of three couples not married or engaged made the reception a little awkward. Molly Weasley, whose husband was deeply involved in the order, seemed to make it her job to find out whose wedding would be next. She prodded me into the clump of girls waiting for Alice to throw the bouquet.

Because I am the most unlucky person in the world, it sailed straight into my arms. I swear that she aimed.

“You what that means, Lils,-“ started James, grinning at me.

“No,” I said sharply, shoving the bouquet at his chest.

“C’mon, Lily,” he said, catching my arm and yanking me to his side. “It’s lovely, isn’t it? Don’t you want an eternity of happiness?”

“More like an eternity of picking up after you,” I retorted.

“That’s not fair!” he cried indignantly. “I’ve been doing my share!”

That was true. “I know,” I said, hanging my head guiltily. “I just-“

“People are saying that we’re headed nowhere, Lils,” he said, looking uncomfortable.

“Who?” I snapped. This was definitely news to me. “Sirius?”

“No, he knows that we love each other,” said James. “Just people.”

“Well, do you think we’re headed nowhere?” I asked, suddenly nervous.

“I love you,” he said simply, shrugging. “And I know that if I ask enough times, eventually you’ll say yes.” He grinned cheekily. “It worked before, didn’t it?”

I laughed and kissed him lightly. He swung me onto the dance floor, saying, “Marry me?”

I smiled and shook my head. That time he almost had me.

”&”&”&”

After two years of marriage proposals and newspaper headlines that had gotten darker and darker, James decided that we should take a holiday to Paris. True, it had gotten a lot more difficult to travel. Security had tightened, and it was dangerous to be friendly with strangers. But danger was never one to slow down James Potter.

It was an entirely new experience for me. I had never been out of the country, and I didn’t speak a word of French. James, who was, surprisingly enough, fluent in French, taught me some key phrases.

Most of the time, though, I let him do the talking while I sat there and looked pretty.

He took me to see everything. We visited the Louvre museum, where I had to take James out of placing a moustache on the famous Venus sculpture. We sat for mass in the Notre Dame Cathedral. (I had to smack him for limping around, crying, “The bells! The bells! Saaaanctuary!”) He even made me try escargot, which wasn’t half bad.

By the end of the week, there was only one thing left to see. We had seen the Eiffel Tower from afar, but he hadn’t taken me there yet. We had decided to leave it for our very last night in Paris. On top of that, I had come to a very important decision of my own. I was all prepared for what I had to do as we set out into the night.

It was a bit of a trek to the Tower from our hotel, but James made time go fast with his ridiculous antics. He did anything and everything to make me laugh, including trying to hold a conversation with a mime.

We arrived at the Eiffel Tower, James dragging me, laughing, by the hand, just as the lights were about to go off.

“Well, this is it,” he said. “Are you ready?”

The butterflies lurched in my stomach. I was more than ready.

In one swift movement, the lights on the Tower flickered on, illuminating the whole crowd. It was absolutely breathtaking.

James threw his arm around my shoulders and squeezed me gently. “James?”

He looked down at me, smiling. “Yeah?”

I hardly dared to breathe and let the words tumble out of my mouth, “Est-ce que tu veux se marier?”

His arm dropped from my shoulders as he gaped at me. “Do you have any idea what you just said?” he asked.

I beamed at him and said, “Well, I know what I tried to say. My pronunciation may have been-“

I was cut off as he swept me into his arms and kissed me. When we broke apart, I said, “You haven’t given me an answer.”

“Good Godric, yes!” he said, before kissing me again.

After James had popped the question one hundred and two times, I’d finally decided that it was time.

We were going to get married.

And I was ready.

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