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And So It Ends


“So.”

“So.”

“So?”

“So!”

Lily sighed and threw her quill onto the table. “What’s wrong with me, Jamie? Why can’t I concentrate?”

Jamie lifted an eyebrow. “Well gee, why don’t you tell me?”

“I don’t know!” Lily crossed her arms huffily and leaned back in her seat. She was beyond annoyed at her restlessness. The library was her sanctuary, the place she always gone to after a particularly nasty argument with James. But why didn’t she feel any peace this time?

“I can’t believe you’re getting all flustered.” Jamie closed her book and tossed it onto the nearby table. “And it’s all because of my brother.”

Lily’s mouth fell open. “What? No!”

“Please don’t tell me you’re still denying it.”

“I’m denying it because it isn’t true! I don’t care about James.”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

“But I really don’t!” Lily leaned forward and stared at Jamie earnestly. “Does it look like I care about him? Does it look like I’m pining after him?” And then her eyes widened in horror. “It does, doesn’t it? Oh Merlin, he’s going to think he actually made me like him! I can’t believe this is happening! Jamie, I…”

“Lily! Lily, listen to me!” Jamie grabbed her hands to get her attention. “You’re actually making this a lot harder than it has to be.”

She froze. “How?”

“You don’t have to be scared about liking James.”

Lily groaned and slumped in her seat. “But I don’t like him, Jamie. I just… I mean I’ll admit that he can be a sweet guy at times, but I just can’t like him.”

“Why not?”

“I wouldn’t be me then.”

Jamie scoffed loudly and rolled her eyes. “That’s one of the dumbest reasons I’ve heard so far. And trust me, I’ve heard plenty of dumb reasons from you.”

Lily was too preoccupied by her other thoughts to register that Jamie had just insulted her. She was struggling to remember previous years when she had absolutely despised James, the times when she would pop a vein after one of his particularly leering comments. The desire to curse him to oblivion had been a constant in her life, but try as she might, she wasn’t able to bring up even a sliver of dislike.

She suddenly jabbed a finger at Jamie. “It’s all your fault!”

The girl was so startled that she jumped and nearly fell out of her chair. “What? What’s my fault?”

“If you hadn’t started the whole Prince Charming shebang, I wouldn’t even be in this situation!”

“I was only trying to help you,” Jamie protested. “You were the one who always complained about the lack of decent guys in Hogwarts. And now that I found you one, you’re denying his decency.”

“I’m not denying his decency,” she retorted. “I just don’t like him that way.”

Jamie lifted a brow. “I never said you like him.”

“Exactly!”

“You love him.”

There was a brief period of silence as Lily glared daggers at her best friend. It was one thing for Jamie to make fun of her but it was another thing for her to continuously imply the same thing. And as sad as it was, the more Jamie hinted at it, the more confused Lily got about the whole situation.

But even so, she refused to accept what Jamie was saying. She didn’t love James. She knew she didn’t. It just wasn’t her and she was never one to break norms. But how could she prove it?

Jamie must’ve seen the expression on her face because she sighed and patted her hand sympathetically. “Just give it up, Lily. There’s no use denying your feelings.”

“No. I’ll show you I don’t like him. I’ll prove it! I swear I will.”


- - -



Lily decided that lunch was the perfect time. She knew Jamie didn’t understand why she was so adamant about proving something that seemed entirely true, yet it made a lot of sense to her. It was hard for her to believe that James could worm his way into her heart, that he could be so alarmingly charming, that he could wipe away all those years of animosity with a simple smile and a few supposed dates here and there.

She had sworn that she wouldn’t fall for his charm.

And yet she had.

She had really fallen for him.

But it wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t in the book. She wasn’t Jamie or James. She couldn’t just step out of the protective bubble that had protected her all those years. If she fell for him now, how was she supposed to justify the past six years?

It was with this thought in mind that Lily entered the Great Hall. It was bustling with noise as usual and she immediately headed towards the Gryffindor table.

The Marauders were seated towards the middle of the table, eating rather heartily. Peter was heaping large helpings of food onto his plate and Sirius was chugging pumpkin juice as if he hadn’t had anything to drink for the past ten years. Remus was the only one who looked remotely civil, but that was only because he and James seemed to be in an argument over something.

Lily slowly approached them. Her heart was thudding loudly in her chest and she knew without a doubt that Jamie was watching her. The nearer she got to the Marauders, the clearer James and Remus’ argument was. Her brows furrowed.

“Look, have I read more books or have you read more books?” Remus snapped.

James scowled. “What does this have to do with how many books we’ve read? It’s not that hard to figure out the difference between a potato and a yam.”

“I’m allergic to yams. You know I’m allergic to yams.”

“Yes, I certainly know but it doesn’t seem like you do. You just ate an entire one without realizing what it was!”

“I thought it was a potato!”

James threw his hands into the air, looking rather like an exasperated mother. “And I thought you were smart.”

“I am smart!”

“How could you have gotten all those Os on your O.W.Ls and not be able to tell the difference between a potato and a yam? They aren’t even shaped alike!”

Remus grabbed a potato off the plate in front of him and shoved it in James’ face. “What is this?”

“A potato.”

“It looks like a yam!”

Sirius finally finished drinking his juice. “Yams are pointier at the ends, mate,” he said knowledgably. “Potatoes’ ends are round.”

Remus glowered. “Thanks for the lesson, Padfoot.”

Peter lifted his head to look at the commotion and nearly choked on his food when he noticed Lily. “Evans! What are you doing here?”

Lily froze. Three pairs of eyes turned to look at her and she couldn’t help but feel a self-conscious blush creep across her cheeks. She hadn’t expected or intended to be the center of attention.

She offered a hesitant smile. “Hi?”

“Lily,” James breathed. He got out of his seat, a faint furrow in his brows. “Is something wrong?”

She shook her head automatically, slightly disoriented by his closeness. “No, not at all. I just felt like saying hi.” She nearly stabbed herself. Surely she could’ve come up with a better excuse than that.

James seemed to agree with her. He tipped his head and arched a brow inquiringly. “Really? Just to say hello?” At her insistent nod, he smiled slightly. “I see.”

Sirius jumped out of his seat. “Are you that stupid, Prongs? Evans isn’t just here to say hello.”

Lily flushed and took a step away from James to clear her mind. Being in such close proximity to him reminded her of their kiss on the Astronomy Tower, and it wasn’t a topic she wanted to think about at the moment.

“You’re thinking too much, Black,” she retorted. She took in a deep breath and squared her shoulders. She was here on a mission. “Potter, sit.”

James blinked, startled by the sudden demand. “What?”

“Sit. I have to talk to you.”

He did. Remus raised a brow and Sirius let out a wolf-whistle. “Ooh, you’ve got a controlling woman on your hands, Prongs.”

James rolled his eyes. “Just eat your food.”

Peter scooted aside so Lily could sit between him and James. A plate materialized in front of her right as she took her seat, but she ignored it and turned to James. He was looking at her expectantly and she thought she sensed a certain degree of wariness in him. Did he think she was going to chew him out for the kiss?

She sucked in a breath in an attempt to settle her rapidly beating heart and blurted, “Does it seem like I like you?”

His eyes widened in shock. Lily watched as he physically jerked back a little, as if she had verbally pushed him. He looked properly surprised and Lily wondered whether the question had been that startling. She glanced at the rest of the Marauders and saw that they had completely abandoned their eating. Their attention was focused on her and James.

James blinked a few more times and finally managed to choke out a shocked sound. “What?”

Lily suppressed the urge to turn tail and run. “Do I act like I fancy you?”

“You… you do?”

Lily rolled her eyes. “That’s what I’m asking you.”

“I…” James ran a hand through his hair, looking rather confused. “I’m not sure.” He smiled sheepishly. “I don’t really understand you at times, Lily.”

Too nice, her mind told her. Too nice. She had expected him to flaunt his charm, to boast that all girls liked him and that she was no exception. And yet he hadn’t done that. He had been humble, modest… truthful. But why? He wasn’t supposed to…

Her eyes narrowed. “You don’t understand me? I’m not that complicated.”

“Sometimes I feel that you like me, but other times I feel like you can’t stand my presence.” He shrugged and fiddled with his fork. “You can be a little bipolar.”

Lily rested her elbows on the table. “I’m not bipolar. I’m just trying to prove to Jamie that I don’t like you.”

Peter looked incredulous. “You’re going to say it to Prongs’ face? Isn’t that a little… rude?”

Lily ducked her head and wondered whether she ought to continue what she was doing. A part of her wanted to just dismiss everything and eat her lunch peacefully, but the more stubborn side of her insisted she prove Jamie wrong. And truthfully, Lily hated being wrong.

“Yes,” she eventually said and then turned back to James. “I thought I’d let you know that I don’t like you. I don’t like your hair, your nose, your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your face, your…”

“Whoa, wait, wait!” James interrupted, eyes wide. “Are you seriously going to list off every part of my body?”

She looked at him evenly. “Yes.”

“But why?”

“Because I don’t like you.”

He raised both eyebrows and observed her with a rather steady look. “Any particular reason why you’re emphasizing this? With the way you’ve been ignoring me these past few weeks, I think I got the idea already.”

“I told you already. Jamie won’t believe me.”

“You’re going through all this because you want Jamie to believe you?”

Lily frowned. “Is there something wrong with that?”

James shook his head. He lowered his gaze to the empty plate in front of her and gestured towards the food. “Why don’t you make better use of your time and eat something? You don’t want all this good food to go to waste.”

“And have some pumpkin juice,” Remus offered, shoving a goblet in front of her. “You must be thirsty after talking so much.”

Lily bit her lip. Why were they being so nice to her after she had pretty much insulted their best friend? She shook her head and got out of the seat. “It’s okay. Jamie is probably waiting for me.”

“I doubt she’d mind if you ate with us,” Remus pointed out.

She couldn’t help but glance at James to see his reaction. He merely shrugged and went back to his food. She sighed and gave them a brief smile before walking towards the end of the table.

Jamie was shaking her head when Lily seated herself. “That was just sad, Lily. Just sad.”

She stiffened. “What do you mean? I proved it already. I don’t like James and I don’t need him to be my Prince Charming.”

“Why do you keep on denying it?” And for the first time, Lily realized that Jamie sounded genuinely confused… and a little bit sad. “You’re putting yourself through a lot of hell that you don’t need and you’re pretty much pulling James through a labyrinth. It’s not doing either of you any good.”

Now it was Lily’s turn to frown. “A labyrinth?”

“An emotional labyrinth,” she snapped, sounding rather angry. “He likes you, Lily. It’s so damn obvious that I can’t believe you can’t see it.”

Lily busied herself by heaping food onto her plate. “He doesn’t like me. He’s just amused because I don’t like him.”

“He’s amused?” Lily almost dropped her fork when Jamie slammed her palm on the table. “Oh please, Lily, can you stop being so utterly daft? James has been going after you for six years. No one can be amused for that long!”

“I’m sure he could,” Lily muttered.

Jamie ignored her. “And you know what he told me when he was completing that last wish? He couldn’t kiss you that first time because he was worried that you wouldn’t like it! He was worried that he’d hurt you and your feelings.” She let out a little laugh then. “And this is James we’re talking about. He’s never treated a girl as carefully as he treats you.”

Her cheeks were flushed by the time she finished her spiel. She chugged down the rest of the pumpkin juice in her goblet and wiped her lips with the back of her hand. “So think about it, okay? If you really, truly don’t like James, then fine, ignore what I just said.” Jamie stared hard at Lily. “But if you do like him, then don’t let this opportunity get away from you. James isn’t always going to wait for you.”

And then Jamie left, swinging her bag onto her shoulder as she went.

Lily’s shoulders slumped and she sagged in her seat, suddenly overwhelmed by the onslaught of emotions that overtook her. She had been right about that day in Ancient Runes. He had wanted to kiss her… but he had pulled away. And now she knew why.

But why did he care so much? Was what Jamie said really true? Did James really like her?


- - -



Lily stuffed another piece of Honeydukes chocolate into her mouth, determined to stay awake. It was already two in the morning, but the Marauders had yet to return. She knew because she had been sitting in the common room for the past five hours, waiting for James. She wanted an answer and she was going to get it no matter what.

The clock ticked to two thirty and the Marauders walked through the portrait hole.

Lily stood as they filed in, footsteps quiet so they wouldn’t wake anyone. She waited until their gaze landed on her, and then she smiled, a tad wary. The Marauders were known to be biting when they wanted to be and she sincerely hoped that they weren’t going to tear her to shreds after what she had said to James earlier that day.

“Hello,” she said quietly.

James regarded her with faint inquiry. “It’s late, Lily. What are you still doing up?”

“It’s the chocolate,” Sirius said, before Lily could say anything. He had evidently spotted the wrappers. “Remember the last time I ate a whole pound of it? I couldn’t sleep for three days.”

“That’s because you mixed it with firewhiskey,” Peter reminded. He winced at the memory. “That wasn’t a particularly good experience.”

Remus laughed softly and started ushering Sirius and Peter towards the staircase. He glanced back and offered Lily an encouraging wink before pushing his protesting friends up the stairs. They were halfway up when the noise quieted and Lily had no doubt that Remus had told them his intention.

She turned around and looked at James, who had seated himself in the armchair across from the loveseat she was sitting in. He leaned back and smiled at her tense expression. “Relax, Lily. I won’t bite.”

“Really?” she asked. “Not even after what I said to you during lunch?”

“Well,” he said slowly. “I assumed that you’d give me an explanation.”

Lily flushed slightly and lowered her gaze.

An eyebrow lifted. “Am I wrong?”

“Well… no.”

James grinned and spread his hands out in a ‘there you go’ expression. “Let’s hear it then.”

Lily wondered where to begin. She had thought long and hard about what Jamie had said. It had taken her the better part of the afternoon and the evening, but in the end, she realized that Jamie had been so right. It was wrong of her to question James.

She fidgeted slightly. “That outburst during lunch wasn’t intentional. I was just in a bit of… emotional distress.”

“Emotional distress?”

“Jamie was pretty much pushing me to admit that I like you, and under that circumstance, I couldn’t very well let her think she was right.”

If James was mad, he didn’t show it. “So you basically told me I was worth next to nothing because you didn’t want Jamie to be right?” He chuckled and shook his head. “Only you would do something like that.”

Lily flushed and ran a hand through her hair. “Yeah, well, at least it’s better than just admitting…” She suddenly froze, her eyes wide. What had she just said? Did she actually…

He cocked his head. “Did I just hear something?” At her shocked look, he grinned slightly. “I did, didn’t I?”

“No!” she cried. “I mean… you… No, you didn’t! You’re imagining things. You’re misguided. You’re…”

“Yeah? I’m what?” he interrupted.

Lily was hyperventilating. “You’re stupid! You think everyone loves you! You…” His hand suddenly flew out and covered her mouth, cutting off her next words.

“Be quiet for a moment, will you?” She nodded, eyes wide. “Good. Now, can I ask you a few questions?”

She nodded again.

James smiled. He leaned forward and lowered his voice. “Did you like your wishes?”

Her breath hitched in her throat. He was looking at her so intently, so earnestly, and his eyes were just so hazel. His face was smooth, but she thought she could detect a flicker of uncertainty in his eyes.

“Lily?” he prompted.

She cleared her throat. “They were… interesting.” At his hesitant look, she hastily added, “I’ve never been so entertained before. So… I did. I did like them.”

His lips curved. “And was I an adequate Prince Charming?”

“You were.” There was no hesitance in her response.

His smile was positively dazzling. He laughed lightly and gave her an affectionate pat on the head before leaning back in seat. “Thank you. That’s all I needed to know.”

Lily blinked, surprised. “So you aren’t mad about what happened that day on the Astronomy Tower?”

“Mad?” James blew out a breath and shot her a look. “No, I’m not mad. Exasperated maybe, but I never expected that particular part to be easy. And I suppose I should thank you for not killing me afterwards.”

She nodded slowly, not really enjoying the humor that he had injected into his sentence. “I see.” There was a period of silence as she assessed him carefully. His face was a mixture of amusement and polite inquiry. What was he thinking? Now that the whole Prince Charming thing was over, what was his next step? Did he plan for them to go on as they had or did he want something more?

He grinned at her thoughtful expression and then yawned and stretched. “All right then, I think I’m going to bed now.”

Lily practically jumped out of her seat. “That’s it? You’re just going to bed?”

“Is there something wrong with that?”

“Well no, but…”

James smiled and grabbed her arm lightly, pulling her closer. “You’re wondering where this puts us, right?” He chuckled. “Ever the analyst, Lily.”

She huffed. “Is it wrong to wonder?”

“Of course not,” he murmured. He brushed his knuckles across her cheek. “I don’t know what you have in mind, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m not giving up on you any time soon.”

Her heart fluttered.

James’ smile deepened. “And I actually think I have a better chance this time.” He tapped her nose affectionately. “Sweet dreams, Lily. See you tomorrow.”

He shot her wink and blew her a kiss before he disappeared around the turn of the staircase.

Lily’s eyes remained on the stairs, long after James had gone up. Her heart was beating a mile a minute and she knew without a doubt that there was a strong flush on her cheeks. For once, James was quite the predictor. She knew already, without a doubt, that if he were to ask her out again, she would agree.

She had gotten her Prince Charming after all.


- - -



Author's Note: Lily's Prince Charming is done! :) I hope you all found the ending satisfactory. It pretty much set the stage for James and Lily to get together. I didn't want to make them a couple by the end of this Prince Charming thing because I thought it was a bit too soon :) There would have to be a few more chapters if that were to happen so I decided to leave it as it is :)

Thanks to everyone for reading!! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it :) Please review for me one last time! Thank you once again!!

Much love,
Infantasia

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