(A/N: Thank you to all reviewers of that short chapter! I do hope this chapter is up to par, and original! I don't want it to be the same way everyone else writes it, so I'll try for originality! Oh, now for a bit of shameless advertising: if you'd like to, please read my other story, Dragon. It's a Malfoy story, and us full of angst, some humor, some "love", and loneliness. Oh, and it has a plot! )

Chapter Two: Belonging

Lily Evans had felt as if she never really fit in. Her whole life, she had been different. Coming from a Muggle family, she had been the only one with witchcraft flowing freely through her veins, while her sister, mother, and father remained completely normal. Petunia, her older sister, went to a respectable boarding school and had found someone she really liked.

Three years Lily's elder, Petunia had recently graduated and found herself engaged to a man called Vernon Dursley, who seemed very ambitious, but dull and too goal-oriented. He was rude and impolite to Lily because she was different than the rest of the people he was typically acquainted with.

Mr. And Mrs. Evans tried their best to make Lily feel welcome in their home, and were more than proud of her. She was the family gem, being pretty, intelligent, caring, and an all around good person in general. Her academic achievements, both Muggle and Magical, were outstanding, and that was enough for all the relatives to praise her.

Yes she was still different. It seemed that no matter where she went in life, Lily Evans would always be different than everyone. A small ray of hope lived inside of her that at her new school, Hogwarts, she would be able to find others that were like her. In a way, but she was still different than most people.

The fact that Lily Evans was Muggle born seemed to be an important factor to some people. At the time, most of Hogwarts consisted of "Pureblooded" witches and wizards, most of which looked down upon those of Muggle descent. Lily didn't understand how so many people could be prejudiced against her; she was a witch, and had magical blood in her veins, just like they did.

Nevertheless, there were always the unprejudiced, who opened their hearts to her and befriended her. The girls in Gryffindor were very supportive of her, and were very interested in the Muggle habitat, as they liked to call it. But deep in her heart, Lilt felt different. Magic had come naturally to her, especially Charms, but she still felt as if there were something missing in her life.

James Potter had noticed the way Lily Evans, the pretty girl with long flowing red hair in his year and house, kept to herself, and blushed furiously whenever anyone spoke to her. She had mystified the boisterous James Potter, who had yet to understand how people could keep to themselves like she did, without a best friend to confide in. He had Sirius, the best friend anyone could ask for, who aided him in all his pranks and other mischievous activities.

James had been dying to ask Lily all about the Muggles, and about the world she came from. There were very few Muggle-born students at Hogwarts, and most of them were very young; first or second year. It would be so much better if he could get the opinion of a fifteen-year-old girl, who was his age.

James Potter had come from a very prominent Wizarding family. His parents were respected members of the International Magical Corporation, a branch of the Ministry of Magic. He was the only son, and was therefore showered with love and was given only the best. But he was taught the virtues of sharing and caring for others. It was something very rare that baffled the students at Hogwarts; how could James Potter be so, well, real?

Though not everyone shared this opinion of James. Severus Snape, a fellow fifth year, thought James to be very stuck up and conceited. Snape was a Slytherin, and led a particularly nasty group on daily espionages around the school, out to torment the weak, and most of all: Muggle born. It was his group that invented the infamous new cuss, "Mudblood," claiming that the Muggle born students were the mud polluting the perfecting crisp and clean spring water in the system.

It was because of Severus Snape, one might say, that Lily Evans and James Potter became so well acquainted with each other. The innocent are commonly sought out for treacherous acts that they do not provoke, or even ask for. Those who prey upon the innocent have seemingly little courage and moral values. Severus Snape fell perfectly into the predatory category.

Lily confined herself to the library on most evenings; she was infamous around the school for studying into the wee hours of the night, and was sometimes found asleep on a book or two in the mornings. Since this was common knowledge, of course, Severus Snape knew this.

His black beady eyes glinted maliciously as he looked down his awfully hooked nose at Lily, who had become so absorbed in her book that she hadn't noticed him slink silently into the large library to her side. Pieces of greasy black hair fell in his face as his lips broke out into a think grin, lighting up his sallow skin. He was like a vulture that had at last found a dead animal.

"If it isn't the worst Mudblood of them all," he said diabolically, letting his low voice echo throughout the nearly empty room. The only other occupant was a boy crouched over what seemed to be a term paper. Lily looked up sharply, her lively red hair bouncing as her head moved. "Trying to look up ways to drain the mud out of your poisoned veins?"

Lily opened her mouth, as if to speak, but no words came out, leaving her looking like a fish out of water. Her brain did not supply quick comebacks to insults, as the brains of the Marauders did. How she wished she could be like they were: careless, carefree, and happy! Why couldn't she just fit in?

"It's people like you that are ruining the world as I've always known it," Snape continued on, tapping the cover of a book with his long bony finger, which looked as if it had suffered from stains as a result as the numerous potions he spent hours concocting in his free time. "Are you trying to impound it into your head that you can belong if you read enough books? If you are, then you're WRONG, Evans!"

Lily looked up at him with her round green eyes. She could feel the tears leaking out from the side as she tried to tell her face that she couldn't cry, no matter what. No matter how bad her feelings were hurt, she couldn't make herself seem any weaker. Before she could do anything about it, Snape had swooped down to her eye level, letting his merciless eyes bear deep into hers. "You're scum," he said, breathing repulsive breath in Lily's face. "Scum."

The boy a few tables had looked up. Catching sight of the events at the table with Lily and Snape, he abruptly set his papers and quill down, pushed his glasses further up his nose, flattened his haphazard black hair, and walked quickly to Lily's other side, flicking Snape in the forehead, quite surprising him.

"Leave her alone, Snape," he said steadily. "She hasn't done anything to you." He put his one hand on the back of Lily's chair, and the other threateningly on his wand. "Go pick on someone of your own sliminess."

Snape raised his hooked nose higher in the air. "If you want to associate with the filth that sits at this table, Potter, then go about your business." Snape grinned maliciously. "I would advise a nose plug, so you can stand the smell coming from her muddy blood."

James raised his wand. He could feel the color rising in his face as he gritted his teeth and raised a brow at Snape. "The only foul smell here is you, Snape," he replied, keeping his voice calm. "And I would strongly advise you to wash your hair if you don't want it to drip grease into one of your precious potions."

A vein pulsed near Snape's temple. His least favorite person, James Potter, was insulting him. Debating internally with himself, Snape, infuriated, turned in a swish of black robes, and thundered out of the room. Lily let out a breath of relief, and looked up at James, lost for words.

"Really, don't pay attention to him at all," James said, sinking into a chair beside Lily. "He's just a big, greasy jerk. He thinks he can pick on all the nicest people in the school. Personally, I think he's jealous because you're smarter than he is."

Lily smiled, for the first time in a long time. "Thanks," she said shyly, looking at her lap. "You're really quick-witted, you know. I wish I could defend myself like you just did for me. It must be nice to know that you're better than Snape."

"Hey!" said James, pretending to act offended. "You're trying to tell me that you think you aren't as good as Snape?" Lily shrugged, and was about to add everything she had heard about being pureblooded. "He's as low as they come! Blood doesn't mean a thing, Lily. And neither does being quick-witted. A fat lot of good that will do me in life, that will. But a talent in Charms will really get you places!"

Lily could feel her cheeks getting hot. "Thanks, I guess." She said quietly. "Another thing that will get you far is doing the right thing, James Potter. You really do belong in Gryffindor. I bet Godric Gryffindor is proud that at least some people do the right thing."

James waved a hand, as if it were nothing. "Well, thank you!" He said, looking over to his parchment and books at his table. "Hey, I'll see you around sometime, but right now, I really need to be working on something."

"Term paper?"

"Er, no." James grinned the infamous grin that was known all over the school. "A map of Hogwarts," he said. "I just happened to be drawing the library," he said. "And you've suddenly given me a brilliant idea!" His brown eyes were alight, and his black hair seemed to have gone even wilder at that moment. "I'm talking to you later, and there's no way you can avoid me!"

Lily smiled, and waved at James as he gathered all of his equipment and left the library in a flash. Lily sighed. This was the first time she truly felt as if she belonged with someone. Of all people, James Potter had been kinder to her than all the girls that tried so hard to befriend her. And here Lily had been thinking James was just some air-headed jock. How very wrong she was.

*

As their fifth year ran by, Lily and James grew closer. For the first time, Lily felt as if she truly had a friend, a real friend that understood her emotions, and how she was feeling deep inside her heart. But yet being with James created new emotions, ones that she wasn't sure he was feeling for her. Funny how things are; James was wondering exactly the same thing about Lily.

The end of June crept closer and closer, and still, James Potter had a slightly nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach as he looked across the empty common room at Lily Evans. It was nearly two in the morning, and the silver crescent moon in the window seemed to be watching him, encouraging him on.

Lily, too, seemed to be debating with herself. It had been several months since the two had been officially dubbed a couple. But they carried on with their usual conversations, unnerved by all of the calamity happened around them when they were together. James was quieter, while Lily spoke her mind more. They had that odd sort of effect on each other, like they could both be who they really were.

"So what are you doing over the summer, Lily?" James asked, finally leaving his seat empty and crossing the room to occupy the spot next to Lily on the couch nearest the fire. "Are you going back to your family? They sound like real nice people."

Lily shrugged. "Yeah, I suppose I am." She said, dreading it to the fullest. That meant she would be in the Muggle world, and would be even more different than the Muggles. She was different, but for the first time, she saw this as a good thing. "What about you? What are you doing for the long holiday?"

James shrugged. "I don't know, honestly," he said. "Maybe I'll come visit you," he said with a laugh. "Your sister would really get a kick out of that, wouldn't she?" Lily giggled. The thought of Petunia in the same room with more than one magical person was humorous.

Silence then filled the room. There was a bit of a thick tension, which James was brave enough to break. "Um, Lily?" He asked, looking down at his feet, his eyes hidden by his messy hair, which had fallen in his face. "Can I ask a favor from you?" He cracked his knuckles.

"Sure, James," Lily said, looking over at him.

"I know this is going to sound really stupid," he trailed on. "But can I, err, um, kiss you?" He flinched at his own words. Well, James, he said to himself, it's better to ask her than just flat out kiss her and get slapped or yelled at. He bit his lip and stared hard at his feet.

Lily smiled, though James had not seen her do it. He was too busy staring nervously at his feet. This had been something Lily had been waiting for ever she had met James. She pushed her red hair out of her face, and put her hand on James' thigh, then said, "Of course you can."

James looked up her; his brown eyes alight behind his glasses, which seemed to be fogging up slightly. Now was the tricky part. How did one kiss another? Was it best to just flat out go at it? This surely was the Sirius Black approach to things; act before you think if ever you think at all. Or perhaps a slow approach would be nicer? This was honestly something he had never thought about before.

Lily, feeling very strange, leaned in closer to James, pressing her chest against his. She saw him close his eyes and lean in closer. She followed suit, and prayed that her aim would be correct, and she wouldn't end up with her lips on his nose. Even is she was going in that direction, it was too late to pull out now.

Feelings of sheer bliss took over as their wet lips made contact. Lily could feel her skin not turning red, but glowing softly in the dim firelight. The contact of skin on skin felt amazing; there was nothing that could ruin the very moment their lips had locked, and their hands had found each other.

Nothing could have ruined that moment except for the giggles from behind a nearby loveseat. Lily and James jumped as Sirius Black rolled out, clutching his middle and gasping for air, he was laughing so hard. "But can I, err, um, kiss you?" He mocked James between breaths.

"Sorry, James," Remus Lupin said, fighting laughter. "We just couldn't help ourselves." Peter nodded along with what Lupin had said, not fighting the temptation to laugh, belly rolling just like Sirius.

Well, there went that perfect moment.

~*~

(A/N: Well, I know that chapter kind of sucked. Gawd, I cannot write romance *kicks part of the brain that is inept with romance writing* Sorry it was long, as well as sucky. Okay, then tell me what you thought of it! I will write more and try to make it better if I get some reviews!

--Clearly Clayr)