Lily had tried to keep herself occupied, but her choices of entertainment were coming on a short.
When she was really little she would watch t.v. with Petunia. Then she met Severus and they would go out and about. Long after that she was constantly with Marcus, Mike, or Paula. Now? She could owl James, but she was afraid of their confrontation. Last night he hadn't said anything about her being with Marcus, but would he think to say something today?
She sighed and walked out from her bedroom. She could hear Petunia and her fiance Vernon laughing downstairs, and though her mum might not hear it, it was completely forced.
The doorbell rang and Lily slowly walked over to open it, but before her hand was on the knob she could hear the people on the other side.
"Oh, Evaaans!" one sang.
"We call her Lily now, Padfoot. She's on our side!" another said, "James stop trying to look through the window!"
She laughed and pulled the door open. "Hey, boys," she greeted.
"My, oh, my, Evans! Hey back!" Sirius said playfully. James punched him in the arm, but he just winked at Lily and walked past her into the house.
"Hey, Lily!" Remus smiled. "Its been a while, eh?" He gave her a gentle hug and then followed behind Sirius.
James gave her a kiss on the cheek. "How's your day?"
"Better now." She gave him a hug around the waist and then ushered him into the house. With her family in the kitchen she led them to her backyard where they decided to lay under a tree. "What mischief are you guys up to today?"
"Give us some credit there, Evans! We aren't always doing something bad!" Sirius defended them.
"Just occasionally throughout every day," James shrugged.
"Yeah, or when Jasmine decides we needed a babysitter," Sirius muttered.
"Babysit?" Lily laughed, "Aren't the three of you a little old for that?"
She let out another laugh making James smile and be glad that she was being herself. He had been so scared that he would come over and find the same girl that had been there the night before. But then, what was he thinking? This was the Lily Evans. She was one of the strongest people he knew, and he didn't expect her to get soft on him now.
Remus waited for James to invite Lily over to the house, but he was staring so intently at her, he figured he should just throw it out there before James got into too much of trance.
"Have any plans for the night, Lils?" he asked.
She thought about her sister in the kitchen and then dinner they were supposed to have with her fiance's parents, but she knew it would probably be better for everyone if she "forgot".
"Not really," she said, "You guys?"
"James' parents are out of town for the night. We were going to have a few select people over."
"Will I know any of the few select?"
"Sure! You'll know all of them!" he shrugged. "You, me, James, Sirius and Jasmine!"
"And Polly!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Polly?" The other three asked at once.
"Paula?" James suggested.
"No!" Lily scrunched her eye brows together.
"Please, Lily?" Sirius begged. "I promise I'll be good this time!"
"You'll be good?" Lily stopped scrunching her face. She took a second to look at Sirius' face and then busted out laughing. "Y-you'll be good?"
Sirius turned to James in a huff. "Your girlfriend is being very disrespectful."
Lily immediately stopped laughing. "You ditching my friend is disrespectful. You using her for a hook up is disrespectful. And was it only me there or did someone say they couldn't be themselves around her not too long ago?"
Sirius could tell he had stepped into dangerous territory. "I didn't mean it, Lils! I was just saying that you could've been....nicer?"
She rolled her eyes and James quietly suggested to Sirius to stop speaking so stupidly.
"So what do you think, Lily?" Remus asked. "We'll have fun!"
She looked over at James who only had a thoughtful look on his face. 'What does that mean?' she thought to herself.
"Is it okay with you, James?" she decided to asked.
"Of course!" he almost yelled. " I mean, we'll have a lot of fun, you know?"
"Alright, fine," she laughed, "What time should I come over?"
"Eleven!" They all gave their own answers.
"Er..." James looked around. "I like eight. You guys?"
Lily shook her head and wondered if these boys would ever entirely grow up.
"Okay," she agreed. "Eight it is. Should I bring anything?"
"No, just yourself will be fine," James shrugged.
"Plus, if we don't have anything there's always Scooter. He can get us anything!" Sirius said.
The other two nodded.
After Mrs. Evans brought them out some sandwiches, the boys decided to leave. Lily walked them to the door and they made their way to James's car that was parked just a few spaces down.
"See, Prongs? Told you it would be ok!" Remus clapped him on the back.
Lily had taken forever to pick out what she wanted to wear. It was summer, but it was at night. It was inside, but there could be an air conditioner. Too many options left her in some jeans and a t-shirt...something so simple turned into maximum difficulty.
When she walked up to the door she knocked and waited. Knocked...waited....and thought about knocking one more time, but instead just walked in.
"Hello?" she called out.
The house was slightly dimmed with only a few of the candles on the chandelier lit. She could hear voices and laughter, but the providers of the noise couldn't be seen.
A door opened and light flooded out into the hallways.
"That you, Evans?" Sirius swaggered out. "We've been waiting for you!"
"Have you been drinking?"
"Maybe..." he walked over to lock the front door and threw his arm around her shoulders.
She slightly tensed up when thoughts of her previous night came to her, but allowed him to direct her into the room. When they walked in she could see a pair of feet flung over the top of the sofa, Remus digging through a refrigerator, and James doing a weird dance jig next to him.
"Look who I found!" Sirius announced.
A head came up from the sofa and Lily realized that it was Peter's feet she had seen and Remus waved without coming out from the fridge.
"Lily!" James exclaimed.
She tried to laugh, but it came out as a nervous giggle. He tried to come over to her while doing his jig, but gave up and did a weird skipping action instead.
"How're you tonight, love?" he asked wrapping his arms around her waist. He pulled her in tighter for a hug, but her hands slightly pushed against his chest.
"Um...good. Looks like you're having a good time."
"Yeah...celebration for the reunion of the Marauders!"
"Here, here!" she heard Sirius cheer.
Lily was starting to look for a way out. She wasn't ready to be around anyone like this, not even James.
"Maybe I should skip out and you guys can have the night for yourselves," she suggested while trying to untangle herself from his arms.
"No!" He grabbed the back of her legs and lifted her up around his waist. "When else am I supposed to get you alone?"
He leaned in and bit her softly on her neck. Lily gulped ready to have an anxiety attack. 'What if he can't stop himself? He's going to get ahead of the both of us and I won't be able to fight him off and the other guys are going to be too hammered to notice...'
She pushed against his chest to get him off of her neck. "Stop, James."
He looked up in her eyes, but it was hard for him to identify the look they had in them. "What's wrong?"
"Just stop! Let me down!"
He immediately dropped her and without a second to spare, she sprinted from the room.
"What'd you do?" Remus called.
"I...I don't know," his brow scrunched.
"Well, go find her then! If Jasmine finds out we're drinking we're all being sent to Hell!" Sirius said.
James ran out of the room and saw that the front door was still locked and knew she hadn't gone outside.
"Scooter!" he called.
The small house elf snapped out of the air. "Yes, Young Master?"
"Have you seen Lily?"
"Yes!" he nodded eagerly, "She ran up the stairs! Would Young Master like Scooter to find where she run?"
James had already started running up the stairs. "No, thank you, Scooter."
When he reached the top of the stairs he started to automatically head for his room, where else would she go?
"James Harold Potter!" he heard a scream. He froze on spot and saw Jasmine with such a look of ferocity he wanted to run into his room and shut the door. "What the hell are you thinking?" she hissed. "Do you even remember what happened last night? Or are you that stupid to think Lily had forgotten?"
"What're you talking about?"
She stormed up to his face. "Lily just came sobbing into my room saying you've been drinking." James's eyes were confused. She hit him upside the head. "Don't you remember last night when her ex boyfriend tried to take advantage of her when he was drunk?"
"Shit..." he mumbled.
Jasmine hit his head again. "Yeah, that's right! You're a Class A jack off! Congratulations!"
"I didn't think she would mind!" he exclaimed. "She seemed perfectly fine this afternoon!"
"Well, duh! Wouldn't you want to feel normal after that kind of thing too?" James started to answer, but he was cut off. "Get in there and apologize. I didn't give you all of that advice for you to ruin it with your own stupidity."
James couldn't believe he had overlooked the situation. He was so worried about her earlier, and this was how he decided to help her cope? "Real nice, James...real nice," he muttered to himself.
He walked down the hallway to Jasmine's room and gently pushed the door open. Lily was sitting on the bed facing the wall with her hands working furiously to get the tears off of her face.
"Lily?" he said hesitantly.
"Just a second," she said taking a moment to rub tears off her cheeks. It made James's insides twist to see her eyes puffy and her face turned red. It made him feel sick that he had been the one to make her cry and turn into the Lily he hated to see.
"I'm so sorry," he gushed running towards her. He got on his knees in front of her and cupped her hands. "I didn't mean to make you cry. I thought I would be fine with a couple of drinks in me, but I didn't realize it would make you so upset."
"It's okay," she said softly. James could still hear the hurt in her voice. "I know you didn't mean to...but seeing you like that and knowing i'm powerless against you-"
"You are not powerless," James said sternly, "You are one of the strongest people I know."
"Maybe mentally, but not physically. There's no way I'd ever be able to fight off someone like you off."
"Mentally is physically in the wizard world, Lils. I'm pretty confident you would have anyone flinging across the room before they could even touch you. And I know you're scared, but I hope you know you will never be powerless against me. Once you say stop, I stop. I won't ever push you farther than where you want to go."
Lily felt her throat tighten. She knew James meant what he said. It was all there in his hazel eyes.
"Thank you, James," she whispered. She leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. "You have no idea how much that means to me."
"Do you want to go back downstairs?"
"No, I think I should go."
"Go? Lily you haven't even been here for half an hour! Am I still making you uncomfortable? I promise I'll only drink water for the rest of the night."
"No, it's not that! I just feel stupid from crying! I hate crying!"
She began rubbing her face again trying to rid the evidence, but James stopped her hands.
"It's okay to cry sometimes," he reassured her. He moved his hands to her face and gently kissed her on the lips. Her lips only gave a small effort to kiss him back, but he understood.
Lily's eyes started to shimmer again from all of the different emotions she was feeling. She wanted to kiss James, but she just couldn't. She wanted to believe that she wasn't powerless, but she knew she still would. Most of all she wanted to be held in his arms so she jumped forward and gave him the biggest hug she could.
A few shaky breaths escaped from her and she tried to keep them quiet, but the way James held her in the embrace, gently running his fingers through her hair and grasping like he never wanted to let go made it impossible for her not to let it all out.
"Thank you, James," she whispered. He knew the double meaning of her words.
"You're welcome..." he muttered just to appease her. "Did you still want to go home?"
She pulled away and pulled off some of the hair that was sticking to her wet face.
"Maybe in a little while," she shrugged. "Do you think we could just...hang out?"
"Of course," he laughed, "That's all I've wanted since third year.
"You're sweet," she smiled. She reached down and gave him another kiss on the cheek.
"Do you think we could go in my room though? It's kind of weird to be hanging out in here without my sister."
Lily laughed and hand in hand they walked down the hallway together. Lily was sure that whatever happened that night she would feel right at home in his arms.
Downstairs, Sirius and Jasmine were sitting on the couch listening for signs of Lily and James, but it was absolutely silent.
"Silence is never good," Jasmine sighed.
She had come downstairs to yell at the boys when she was done with James, but one smooth talker led to another and before she knew she had a drink in her hand and she was starting to relax. It was the first peaceful moment she could remember with Sirius for as long as she had known him.
Remus had fallen asleep in the kitchen chair with food in his lap while Peter decided to bail out early. That left the two of them in each other's company with for once, nothing to fight about.
Sirius shook his head laughing. "Oh dear Jasmine, you really don't know James, do you?"
"Of course I do! But I think for anyone an awkward silence is awful!"
"No, no, no. You're looking at silence all in the wrong way. Knowing Lily she would be screaming if she had something on her mind to say to James. And if James can keep her quiet..." He clicked his tongue and gave a wink.
Jasmine couldn't believe her ears. "I don't get it! How does he do it? If I were Lily I wouldn't let him take one step towards me."
"It's easy," Sirius shrugged. He scooted closer to her on the cushions. "You look her in the eyes, caress her cheek," he reached over and touched her cheek bone. "Then I'll just tell you how beautiful your eyes are and how they make me melt like the honey color they are. That I've had a thing for you since the first time we were introduced."
Jasmine started laughing. "Yeah that might work, except Lily's eyes are green. That would really get her going."
"I'm not talking about Lily."
Jasmine stopped laughing and noticed how close Sirius had gotten. "Oh, boy."
author's note: muhahah i had been waiting for a time to write that.
thank you as always for reading! i'll have the next chapter up as soon as i can!! eek!
disclaimer: i disclaim.
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