A/N: This one was written for arashi wolf princess, whose birthday is today, and it was requested for her by vampygurl402. There wasn't a specific prompt, so this is just something that was rattling around in my head.

I hope you had a nice birthday. I suddenly realised that I didn't know what time zone you are in, but it's 30th August here so I'm hoping it's the same where you are!

Fifth Year

James Potter was an arse. Lily stormed across the grass, hoping to put as much distance between him and herself as possible, just in case the urge to hex him into next week actually overpowered her greater good sense.

She eventually found herself on the far side of the lake – ironic really, since she'd just expressed a preference for one of its inhabitants rather than the messy haired idiot that was currently occupying the number two slot in her 'biggest prat in the universe' rankings – and she dropped down to sit on a large rock near the edge.

Of course it wasn't just him was it? There was the small matter of the other dark-haired boy in her life, who was currently firmly planted in the number one spot on 'Lily Evans' biggest arseholes' list. In that respect, at least, he'd finally bested James Potter.

Sev. Severus. Snape. She supposed she'd start using Snape now. Both of the others seemed too familiar for someone who was now more like an enemy than even an acquaintance. She'd known, in all honesty she'd known for a long time, that there was almost nothing left of their friendship; she'd stopped confiding in him, he'd begun to actively hide things from her. They spent no time together except during holidays at home when there was no-one to see them and tell tales. She was fairly sure that Se…Snape, hadn't realised that she'd figured that out. They hadn't been friends for a while.

She hugged herself tightly. Friends seemed to be a rare commodity these days; she seemed to have fewer and fewer all the time.

She wasn't sure how long she sat there before she heard footsteps behind her. Whoever it was stopped just a couple of feet away from her, and stood silently for a moment. Then they moved towards her, and a hand offered her a cloak.

She looked upwards, and hazel eyes framed in messy hair looked down at her. She sighed, then looked resolutely forward again, refusing the offer of the cloak.

'You know, you are about the last person I want to see.'

'I know it. Even if I didn't, Moony said as much. So did Pete. Even Sirius, though he expressed it a little more bluntly than they did. It might interest you to know that all three of them offered to come out here and find you.'

The thought warmed her heart a little; she didn't know any of them that well, though they'd all been civil enough over the years, and it seemed incredible that she'd just been ruminating on her lack of friends and then she heard something like that.

'Why didn't you let one of them come then?'

James shifted nervously. 'Because I owe you an apology. It's not someone else's fuck up to fix.'

Well, he rose in her estimation. Not that that would be hard at this point. 'Feel free to start any time then.'

He sighed and sat down on the ground next to the rock she was still perching uncomfortably on, staring ahead just as she was. 'You may not believe it, but I'm sorry for what happened. Snape and I…I'll never be able to explain it to you, just like he probably couldn't either, but we hate each other, and we fight. We fight a lot, and whatever he may have told you before, I don't always start it. What I did today…that wasn't us fighting. That was me being a bastard. And I'm sorry you got dragged into our feud.'

Lily felt the sincerity of his words, but the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach wouldn't go away. It hadn't just been caused by the word Snape had spat at her – though that made up the bulk of it – it had been seeing fellow Gryffindors act that way. She'd thought many things about James and his friends over the years, but she'd never thought him vicious.

'I appreciate the apology.'

'You're welcome. I know it's not enough.' James rose, and placed the cloak over her knees without making eye contact. 'I'll let everyone know that you'll be back in when you're ready. Remus has patrol tonight, so he'll look the other way if you need to stay out after curfew.

'Thank you.' Lily whispered the words, but he was gone.

Sixth Year

James Potter was…an interesting specimen, she'd decided at some point. After a rocky end to fifth year – blimey, that was an understatement – they'd tiptoed around each other until term had ended.

The something strange had happened on the trip home. Lily had been walking along the train corridor, heading back to her friends, feeling odd about the fact that she'd just passed Se…Snape's compartment and seen him with his acceptable friends, when a door slid open and Sirius Black had hung his head out and invited her in for exploding snap. For reasons that weren't entirely clear to her, she'd said yes, and then spent an hour playing the idiotic card game with them and being amused by their antics.

She'd returned to her friends then, and she hadn't seen any of the marauders again, not on the train or platform. The about a week into the holiday she'd received an owl carrying two letters; one from James, one from Sirius. Sirius' had been full of cheerful insults and a certain amount of interrogation about muggle motorcycles, while James'…had been full of apologies and tentative offers of friendship. It had taken her a week to respond, and since then letters had flown freely between them, with Peter and Remus joining in with the mass communication in short order.

She'd returned to Hogwarts with four official new friends, but only one of them confused the living daylights out of her.

Lily watched him from across the room as he tutored one of the younger years, his frustration showing in the number of times he swiped a hand through his hair, but his voice remaining even as he explained the process for hedgehog into pincushion for what had to be the fifth time.

James Potter - the boy who was like an animated foghorn on the Quidditch pitch; who'd hung her former best friend upside down because he felt like it; who she'd seen throw more than one hex unprovoked in the corridors – wrote thoughtful letters, tutored younger years, abhorred bigotry and the dark arts and championed the underprivileged and underrepresented. He was a walking bloody contradiction.

Sirius, Remus, Peter; they all made sense to her. He didn't. And damned if she wasn't determined to figure him out. She'd get to know him better this year, find the real James Potter in all the layers.

She wondered what he was like.

Seventh Year

It turned out James Potter was…well, bloody oblivious frankly. How he could possibly be unaware of her increasingly large crush was beyond her.

They spent hours together, patrolling, writing reports, in meetings. Beyond that, they ate meals together, partnered in classes, studied together, talked, played games. And through all of that time together, he remained blissfully unaware that he took a nightly stroll through her dreams.

She wasn't sure whether she was happy or disappointed about that.

'That's it, my patience is done. Officially sapped.' James collapsed on the sofa beside her. 'Can people seriously not think of anything more original to do in the evenings than leap into the nearest broom closet and lock lips? They could at least find one where I'm not likely to come across them.'

'Welcome to responsibility.' Lily answered. 'It's a thorny road, but one we must walk.'

'Much too late in the evening for being all philosophical Evans.'

'Don't call me Evans.' The words came out automatically; she'd been attempting to get him to call her Lily exclusively for months, but he persisted with Evans at times. It frustrated her no end, since it just reminded her of a time when they weren't friends.

'Sorry Lily.'

And of course, there was also the fact that she liked the way her name sounded on his tongue. Merlin, she was pathetic. Maybe it was time to be a Gryffindor about all this.

'Going to Hogsmeade next weekend?' She asked as casually as possible.

James grunted, his head titled back to rest on the sofa cushions, his eyes closed. 'Probably. We always go to Hogsmeade don't we?'

Lily hmmmmed noncommittally as she continued to covertly observe him. 'Maybe…would you be interested in doing things a little differently this time?'

He cracked open one eye and turned his head slightly to peer at her. 'What are you suggesting Lily?'

'I thought…that maybe we could go together? As in, just the two of us. You know, together.'

James opened his other eye and stared incredulously. 'Lily Catherine Evans, are you blushing?'

She couldn't summon an answer, and she kept her eyes determinedly away from him, but his hand crept over and covered hers.

'I'd love to.' He answered, his expression trying to convey as much sincerity as possible.

Her face brightened as she turned to look at him. 'You would?'

'I really would.'

A/N: Just a quick note to say that all the drabbles that will be posted here come from prompts, so I'm obviously happy to accept them...however, please don't ask me to write something to be published on a certain date! I don't always have a lot of free time, so I'd have to turn a lot of those requests down and I'd feel awful. This one was an exception, because it's the first time anyone has asked me and I thought it was a very sweet gesture to request a fic for a friend.

Also, while you can PM me on here to submit a drabble request/suggestion, it's much easier for me to keep track of them if they're submitted on Tumblr, so if at all possible please submit them over there (you don't need an account, just follow the link on my profile and submit an anon ask - you can sign it or not, totally up to you). Be warned, I have about forty requests at any given time, plus my in progress fics and own plot bunnies to work on, so it can take some time to answer a prompt.

Thanks for reading guys xx