|Vanilla Ice Cream
Author: Aisling Yinyr Ngaio PM
Post HBP. ‘“I forgive you.” Those three words made James literally jump for joy.’ James was astonished to know how Lily feels about him. He seeks forgiveness and obtains it in a curious truce.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - James P. & Lily Evans P. - Words: 2,611 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 10-08-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2611004
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
His cloak billowing behind him, he walked briskly away, utterly refusing to stop despite the entreaties of his three friends behind him. One of them, a man with jet black hair that fell elegantly to his eyes, caught up with him and grabbed his arm roughly, turning the agitated young adult to face him.
"Bloody hell, James! Why so flustered? She's only a girl!" He had to shout to get his best friend's attention, as said best friend was struggling like a bird crying for freedom in his hands.
"Let me go, Sirius! I said let go!" James managed to wrench his arm away from Sirius. He fumed at his almost brother before saying, "Lily isn't just any woman, she's the one. I can feel it. I've told you so. Now leave me alone." He turned to hurry away, but Sirius showed every inclination to follow him. James let out an exasperated sigh. "Alone, I said. Can't a man sulk in peace?"
Against his better judgement, Sirius let his co-Marauder go. He watched as the hazel-eyed man storm off to the seventh floor. Oh boy, he's going to murder himself one of these days. As if rejection from the wonderful woman with the wonderful hair and the wonderful eyes is the end of the world…Honestly… Shaking his head, he turned to stop the other two Marauders, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, from following James further. "He said he's fine. He just needs some time alone to 'sulk in peace'."
"Blimey, this time it sure is a terrible blow, huh?" Remus remarked sadly to Sirius, shaking his head. "He's never taken it this hard before…"
The three of them stood in the middle of the corridor silently before Remus stirred from his thoughts and wearily beckon them to return to the Gryffindor Common Room. "We might as well let him have his peace in sorting out his feelings and his thoughts. There isn't much we can do here, standing in the middle of this God forsaken corridor like stalkers."
"Yeah… Come on, Sirius," Peter squeaked, as he tugged Sirius's sleeve. Sirius cast a last forlorn look at the direction James took before trudging back to Gryffindor Tower with the rest of his mates.
James's destination was, in fact, the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy. He paced three times across it, thinking "I need a quiet place… A place where no one will find me… A place where I can gather what remains of my shattered heart… OK that's too cliché…"
At the third passing, predictably, a highly polished door appeared. James seized the door knob and practically barged into the room, shutting the door behind him with a loud snap. It instantly vanished from sight on the outside. He knew that the Room of Requirement was Unplottable, and so he won't show up in the Marauder's Map. Not that his friends did not know where he was heading, since they saw him stomping off to the seventh floor.
He saw a blazing fireplace decorated with the replica of his belongings, a cosy sofa set, and a huge fluffy white canopy bed with the hangings pulled back. Almost like his summer home at Godric's Hollow. He smiled at the familiar atmosphere, and promptly crashed onto the bed, face down.
He felt like sobbing. He was heartbroken. And it was always for the same reason. Lily Evans, the woman with dark red hair and almond-shaped emerald eyes. She captured his heart, and she had broken it into a million pieces for the umpteenth time. What's worse, it was all his fault. If only he hadn't acted like such a fool. If only he didn't to turn into a wreck whenever she was near. If only he could act the way she wanted him to. He was too nervous and too desirous to show his prowess so that hopefully she would be impressed. But the plan had obviously backfired, and for years at that. Still, he didn't give up, although in times like this, he felt like giving up.
Maybe Sirius is right… Maybe Lily isn't worth the trouble. I could get any girl I want, he thought in a brave attempt to forget. I am THE James Potter. Right? Right at that moment, Lily's face swam before his mind, smiling and laughing, and he was caught by her charm once again. But… I just can't get her out of my mind… her beautiful smile… her mischievous eyes… her colourful personality… the way I felt so completed, body, heart and soul, when I first saw her… There just isn't another like her…He buried his head in the heap of pillows and groaned out loud. Merlin, I'm so pathetic…
He thought of what happened a moment ago. He had been spending his time with his friends on the grounds, talking about next month's full moon, when he saw her, strolling along the bank of the great lake where the giant squid resided. And, unluckily enough, he saw a greasy haired fellow walking vaguely towards her direction, his hooked-nose immersed in their Potions book, Advanced Potion-Making. Almost instantly, all the other Marauders noticed Severus Snape. Sirius tensed up considerably at the sight of their arch enemy.
Foreshadowing nothing good when Snape meets Lily face to face, the four young men inched towards the lake and hid behind some bushes. They, especially James, did not want to be caught eavesdropping, just in case Snape just went by without noticing Lily.
But they had no such luck. Snape had raised his head and perceived the attractive redhead. He immediately said something snide once they were within hearing range, which caused James to leap out of their hiding place and curse Snape before he could utter another syllabus. Sirius had also hurried out, his wand outstretched, right as Lily started shrieking her head off. He winced as he replayed her voice over and over again in his head.
"You couldn't just let him swear and leave, would you? I don't bloody care what he said about me! Even if I didn't like it, I would like to have the privilege to curse him myself and not you, like I'm some damsel in distress, incapable of saving myself. Stay out of this, Potter!"
He did not like to admit it, but it was probably her use of his last name which stung him the most. He sighed heavily. When would he ever get the chance to have a decent conversation with Lily? And what wouldn't he give to have that chance? I wish I knew how she feels about me, though it's pretty sure that she would have nothing to do with me if she could… he thought with a humourless smile. He really wanted to know what he needed to change in order for her to accept him.
As he entertained that thought, a leather bound book appeared at his bedside table. Curious, he picked it up and examined its cover. In splashing gold letters were the words "Diary of Lily Evans". Oh, Merlin, what should he do? If he opened it, it would be an invasion of Lily's privacy. Yet… he wanted to know. He wanted her so. What wouldn't I give to know?
He flipped it open to the last page. Surprisingly, letters were forming before his very eyes. Lily was probably writing in her diary at that very moment, and this was probably a magical copy.
Dear Diary, it began,
He did it again. Why does he always have to be like that? Every time I think of the times I've had to shout at him, my heart sinks. I like him a lot, diary, but I just couldn't accept him. I couldn't, not when he is still bullying others, particularly Snape. He said in fifth year that he does it because "he exists". Isn't that as bad as Snape, who insults me just because I exist?
Of all the people I have to like, it has to be James bloody Potter. He seriously gets under my skin. Yet I still wait, waiting for that moment when he would finally stop his disgusting habit of cursing people just because he can. And the juvenile practise of last-name calling. I hate it when he calls me Evans, like we couldn't be anything but either boyfriend-girlfriend or nothing at all. Why, you ask? I don't know, but I've just got this crazy feeling that he completes me somehow. But we shall have to wait and see. I've waited five and a half years. I will wait on.
You know, diary, if it weren't for the fact that he bullied, we may well be a couple by now. But he just has to be an obnoxious, arrogant boy. Why did I ever like him? Though, of course, he is always trying to impress me, and to be honest I'm seriously amused by it, but doesn't he know that I want him to be himself rather than someone I don't know? I want him to just be himself, not arrogant, not obnoxious, not the big-headed, bullying toerag I always claim him to be, but a compassionate person who accepts everyone for who they are, even Slytherins. Some might scoff, but they are there for a purpose. Hogwarts would never be complete without them. The only fault they have is that their House produces more Dark wizards, that's all. In fact, it could be because of our mistreatment that they sought to overthrow us and be in charge themselves. Like the goblins and the giants. They're just trying to find their rightful place in society.
Gosh, I really like him. I'm sure you must be extremely bored hearing me say that over and over again, but I can't help it. I really like him. I thought it was a crush, but it grew over the years, when I secretly looked at him without him noticing me. He seemed much more relaxed and much more himself when he is with the Marauders. Yes, that's how I know he has another, truer side. So why can't he be like that all the time?
Till next time,
James was shocked as he let this new information sink in him. He never knew that Lily actually liked him, and by the sound of it, she liked him a lot, as much as he liked her. She was only waiting for him to change. Oh Merlin, what a fool I've been. To think that I could have easily won her affections! Yet it's not too late…
He lowered his eyes to see a postscript in Lily's writing, one which he missed: I think I'll go visit the kitchens. Encounters with James always cause a craving for vanilla ice-cream. And maybe a chocolate chip cookie or two.
This was all too much to take. She didn't use his last name in her diary! It was perhaps this which made James make up his mind. He had to apologise to her for… everything. If he hurried, he could catch up with her before she reached the kitchens.
He sped out of the Room of Requirement and darted into a nearby tapestry into a secret passage. By now, the map of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade was burnt in his head, and he knew just exactly which combination of secret passages he could take to reach there in time.
He skidded out of a door pretending to be a wall and saw the painting of the fruit bowl before him. And not a moment too soon, for he heard footsteps echoing throughout the corridor. He turned and beheld the woman of his dreams, walking closer and closer. Upon noticing him, Lily frowned.
"What are you doing here?" she asked cautiously, but not unkindly. James was heartened, and he decided to spill everything out before he started acting like an 'arrogant, bullying toerag' again. He walked up to her and took her hands, wanting so much to embrace her. Instead, he said, "Lily, I'm really sorry. For everything. Will you ever forgive me?"
Lily was startled. Her emerald eyes lifted to search his beseeching, imploring hazel ones. They seem so sincere, so determined and so loving. She raised a hand to cup his cheek as she spoke softly, "You've never called me Lily before."
"I know, and I'm sorry for that too. Lily, please forgive me," he begged in earnest. "You're right. I'm causing pain to people who don't deserve it. You tried to make me see, but I couldn't, not till you rejected me time and time again. I was too blind to see it until now. Please, Lily, I promise that I will change. Say you'll forgive me. Please."
Lily looked at him, suddenly very hopeful. It was like a dream come true. James Potter was humbling himself and admitting his mistakes rather than laughing it off. For once, it seems that he might actually be saved. And she might have her chance after all.
"I forgive you." Those three words made James literally jump for joy. He hugged Lily tightly and whispered in her ear, "Oh, Merlin, thank you so much, Lily. I don't deserve you. You're so good." He broke apart a little, missing Lily's slight blush and asked her, "Would you be my friend? I mean," he coloured slightly himself as he continued, "I know we've been classmates for so long, but we haven't really, you know, communicated well. I want to know you. Besides," he added as an afterthought, "you can keep me in check."
Lily laughed at the last part. He really was sweet. "I thought for sure that you will be going along the lines of 'Lily, will you go out with me now that I've promised to be a good boy?'" James's face reddened even more at Lily's teasing. Well, true, he still liked Lily in a romantic way, but he wanted to take it slow so that it didn't jeopardise anything this time. He could show Lily that he really could be the man she wanted him to be. After all, she didn't ask much, merely for him to be himself. That should be easy, and with her as his friend, perhaps he could minimise his level of nervousness around her. Perhaps he won't show off so much then, and she won't fly at him so much for his mistakes.
Lily's smiling face caused him to blurt out the truth. "Lily, you know that I've liked you a lot since first year. I'd like it if we end up dating, but if you're uncomfortable with it, I thought maybe we could start off as friends. Get to know each other better before we become serious. If you want to, that is," he added hastily, stealing a secret glance at her. "At least we can still be friends if you don't."
If only you knew how much I wanted you, Lily thought secretly. She didn't voice this out, however. Instead she beckoned him to the kitchens with a grin. "Fancy some vanilla ice-cream, James?"
– Finis –