Disclaimer: As much I would like to, I can't make Polyjuice and everything still belongs to JK Rowling.
Rentals and Romance
They meet through Remus. He'd been coming to her shop regularly, picking up classics, rom-coms and the occasional action movie. They'd talk. He usually asked for her help in choosing that week's Saturday night movie for him and his mates. She considers him her friend, and hoped he felt the same.
And Remus brings James one day, and she can't help but flirt with the most gorgeous man she had ever set her eyes on. His untamable black hair, warm hazel eyes, and wicked smirk were to die for, but it was the way he treated Remus that warmed her heart. In one conversation with Remus, he had let slip that he had some sort of genetic disorder that made him very weak on some days. James clearly knew and his eyes were always watching his friend out of the corner of his eye in case he needed help.
He flirts back, flashing her crooked smiles and talking with his hands. He makes her laugh, often. Their conversation started with movies, but soon drifts towards latest celebrity gossip (they still weren't over the Brangelina split) and debated about pop-culture (Adele or Ariana Grande? Definitely Adele), while Remus tries to choose a movie. He asks her for advice, as usual, and she recommends the classic 'The Lion King'. He readily agrees with her choice and a transaction later, they were leaving. As she moves to say goodbye to the man with the great hair (James, Remus had said), another customer enters and they slip out.
She is sad that she didn't say goodbye to the charmer. He is the most funny and laid-back man she's ever met. Shrugging it off and heading toward the back of the shop, she hears the chime of the opening door. He is back.
"'Was halfway home till I realized I didn't get your name."
She can't stop herself from smiling, "Lily."
He grins in that adorable way and holds out his large hand. "James Potter. Pleasure to meet you."
She takes it and shakes it firmly. "Pleasure's all mine," and it truly is.
With another heart melting grin, he leaves the shop. She's smiling. What a smooth move.
The next time she sees him is a week later, when he returns with Remus to pick a movie. They chat again, this day about the recent news around town that the local crime gang was getting more notorious. The news upsets her as she knows her former best friend works for the group. She doesn't mention it to James, though, and the talk moves to lighter topics. He leaves again, with Remus carrying 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. James bursts out laughing at the title, claiming Remus only picked it because of his obsession with chocolate. She defends Remus, asking him what he is addicted to so she can find him a perfect movie.
He only winks and says, "Movies."
She laughs and debates a while before handing him 'Citizen Kane'. He makes a face, proclaiming it to be a boring and pretentious movie. Rolling her eyes, she gives him 'La La Land' instead, the movie that had made a splash at the latest Oscars. His eyes light up with delight, "I didn't know this was already out on DVD! Thanks!"
She shakes her head after he's left. 20-year-olds should not behave like five year olds. But a small part of her admits that James was adorable when he acted younger than his age.
The first time he comes without Remus is a month and a half after their first meeting. She smiles at him and asks for his friend. His expression darkens, "He's not very well today."
Feeling a wave of sympathy for him, she lets out a small, "Oh." How can a simple word sound so wrong? "Will he be alright?" Much better.
He smiles, "As soon as he watches a movie."
"Well, if he needs something to cheer him up, I would suggest 'Forrest Gump'."
She blushes and turns to pick the DVD case out of a shelf behind her she reserved for her favorite movies.
"Tell Remus I said 'hi' and that I hope he feels better soon."
And so ends the unusually short visit. Lily's heart goes out to poor Remus, and wishes she can do more than hand James a movie for him to watch.
James starts coming more regularly to her shop. Twice a week, thrice a week, and now every day. His visits become longer, and stopped ending in him walking out with a DVD case. Lily begins to look forward to his visits and is happy to gain what she considers a trusted friend. During one of these visits, about four months in, Severus comes to her shop. He looks incredibly nervous to be there, but as soon as he spies James, anger graces his face.
"What are you doing here?" he spits.
James frowns, "I could ask you the same thing."
"Lily's my best friend." her blood boils at being addressed like that.
"Hold it," she declared, "you, Sev, are no friend of mine!"
"You called me 'Sev'. That counts for something, doesn't it?" he says, a pleading expression on his face.
"No, it doesn't." she tries to stay firm, "I don't love you, Severus, and I never will."
"But why not?" he asks petulantly.
"Because. You. Are. A. Criminal." she says harshly.
He sighs, "It's complicated. They just-"
"I DON'T CARE!" she screams. Feeling embarrassed about her lack of control, she takes a deep breath, her face hard, "Get. Out. Get out of here; get out of my life, of everything."
"She said get out. I suggest you do," says James, who had been standing awkwardly before.
"You have no right to interfere!" shouts Severus, going purple.
"Yes he does." says Lily, suddenly calm, "He's my boyfriend."
Both Severus and James look at her surprise. She pleads with the latter silently, and luckily it seems that he gets the message, because he straightens up and glares at Severus.
"That's right. Now get out," he growls, looming threateningly above her old friend.
Shocked by the revelation, Snape is dazed and stumbles out of the shop with a blank look on his face. Lily sighs as soon as he is outside.
"Sorry about that."
James looks horrified at her apology. "No, why so you have to apologize? It's not your fault."
She shakes her head wearily. "No, it's not… I think I owe you an explanation."
He looks hesitant. She can sense his curiosity, but fear of pushing her.
"Severus was my best friend. He lived next door to me and we lived together when we moved here. A year ago, I found out that he had joined the local crime boss. We had a huge fight about and I moved out. A kind man who owns this property gave me a job in his shop here and flat above. Severus still comes around begging for my forgiveness, but I can't forgive him. And," she feels it's important to add, "for the record I never saw him more as a friend, but he is convinced I am the only woman for him."
James looks lost for words. She doesn't blame him. She's glad that he doesn't respond with the usual 'I'm sorry'. He is above that.
"I'm glad that I was able to help by being your boyfriend."
Lily blushes. "Yeah, sorry about that. It was the only thing I could think of that would make him leave."
"Are you kidding? I would love to be your boyfriend," he says, a wide but nervous smile on his face and a hand in his messy hair.
"Really?" she asks softly, her heart beating faster.
"Yeah. Notice how I never actually borrow movies when I come here," he admits sheepishly.
She laughs, "I noticed."
A tentative silence falls. They glance at each other shyly, with red cheeks and racing heartbeats.
"So… dinner?" he asks, running his hand through his long black hair.
Lily smiles. "Dinner. On one condition."
"What condition?" he asks nervously.
She smirks, "You have to let me mess up your hair."
He laughs, a loud happy laugh, "Sure."
Dinner goes incredibly well. They smile a lot, laugh and keep (intentionally) bumping some parts of them into each other. The one dinner turns into a second, and a third one soon follows. Remus still comes to the shop every week, and teases her incessantly about James.
He kisses her for the first time outside her apartment, when he drops her off after their third date. When their lips meet, she feels like she's floating, her head is spinning and her heart is pounding in her ears, but she doesn't stop, because there is no feeling as glorious in the whole goddamned world as kissing James Potter.
They find out so much more about each other now, how Lily's parents died in a car crash before she moved, how James's incredibly rich parents died of cancer and left all their fortune to him, how he's hoping to get a job at Universal Studios as an assistant producer, how he lives in a large flat with his best friends Sirius and Remus (who are a couple) and how his fourth best friend also left to join the crime boss.
She tells him how she studies at night, majoring in aeronautics, and how she dreams of going to space, how she started to work because of the money, but loves her job now and doesn't want to leave, how she loves movies, how she dislikes her red hair at times because it stands out, and how glad she is that she met James. Conversation between them flows as easily as water.
They fall into a comfortable relationship, full of laughter and sweetness and nauseating PDA. Lily meets Remus's boyfriend Sirius, who is even more laid-back that James, and they instantly form a close bond over betrayal by loved ones. Sirius had been disinherited at 16 because he refused to work for the boss. James is ecstatic because they mesh so well together.
Just a few months into their relationship, Lily and James are out camping by a lake and as she watches him chat happily while building the fire, she realizes she has fallen in love with him. She's terrified, because she feels simultaneously that she just met him and that she's known him for ages. But she's also exhilarated, because she's in love and it feels fucking amazing.
"James… I love you." She tells him.
He looks at her incredulously before leaping and snogging her senseless. When they come up for air, Lily asks, "I take it you feel the same way?"
James grins at her, "Lily, I have loved since the first day we met."
"Really?" she asks.
Instead of answering, he kisses her sweetly. She smiles at him.
She moves in, not soon after she finishes her degree and graduates with honors. He is there in the audience, cheering with Sirius and Remus. They celebrate that night, and he teases her, calling her 'Astronaut Evans', and she kisses him, hard, when she thinks she won't be Astronaut Evans.
A/N: Okay I had written this a while ago and found it so decided to type it out. That last sentence I must admit I ripped off from cyger's story 'Textbook, Timescarves and Tea' which is also an amazing Muggle AU, by the way. I have been in love with Jily Muggle AUs since I first read them and couldn't resist writing my own. I hope you like it, please tell me what you think, so I might write more! And I know I am supposed to update LINNAH, but I just was feeling this one more.
Huge thanks to my wonderful beta, goldensnitch0423!