Spring Break! Yeeeeehaw. So, rather than being bored all week, I've decided to work on this story. Hopefully, I will eventually finish it and start on another project. You see, I want to write when I grow up. But the problem is; I don't have anything to write about! It's crazy!

Disclaimer: DUH

James and Lily: A Match Made in Hogwarts

Chapter 11

For Lily, time couldn't be moving any slower. Just this morning, she and James had argued basically over Quidditch. Then, when things got worse, he was there for her when she needed him. But now, she couldn't do anything for him.

Madam Pomfrey informed Lily, her friends, and the other Marauders that James's condition was critical. When his ribs had broken, they punctured his lungs, causing respiratory problems. He was also suffering from internal bleeding. And his body was so bruised; it could take months to heal completely.

There was only so much that magic could do for him. Madam Pomfrey had found potions to stop the bleeding and partially heal his lungs. But, she had also informed them that the potions wouldn't take away the pain. She used her wand to fix his many broken ribs and also wrapped the entirety of his chest and stomach. She had put a spell on him that would make him sleep for a few hours. Then she left Lily and the others alone with him.

Lily pulled a chair up to his bedside and covered his hand with hers. She gazed contently into his pale, but handsome face. Sirius, Remus, Carly, and Isabella were all sitting on a neighboring hospital bed. They hadn't moved for 2 hours.

Carly cleared her voice. "Lily, maybe we should go get ready for the Ball….it starts in a few hours,"

"Yeah, Lily. James wouldn't want you to sit around here when you could be having a good time," Remus added.

Lily couldn't believe what she was hearing. These people were supposed to be his friends and it was like they couldn't care less about the fact that he had almost died out there.

"We can't just leave him here alone, while everyone else is at the Ball carrying on without him!"

"But we do care about James!"

"Lily, don't you see? James would never want anyone sitting around waiting for him to wake up when they could be having fun at the Ball. Especially you, Lily," Sirius said.

Isabella started in, "Come 'on, Lily. He would want you to go have a good time. Even without him."

"OK….let me just stay here with him for a little while longer," Lily said quietly.

"Sure. Just come to the Common Room when you leave. Remember, we're getting ready together."

"Yeah, sure. See you in a little bit, then." Lily said distractedly.

They left. But out in the hallway, Carly and Sirius were talking.

"Are you sure we should leave her alone?" She asked him worriedly.

"She'll be fine. I think she's starting to realize just how much she really cares about him anyway. Nothing wakes you up to the truth like almost loosing the person you love. Sounds sappy, I know, but it's the truth." He stately, matter-of-factly.

For the first time all day, Carly smiled. "Sirius, you always know what to say," Then, he put his arms around her waist and gently pulled her to him. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and they shared a few moments of affection. The kind of affection that's only shared when you really care about something. It wasn't about kissing. It was just about being close to someone.

When they finally broke apart, Carly asked him, "Are you coming back to the common room?"

He smiled secretly. "Nah. I've got something to take care of. I'll see you before the Ball. Can't wait, babe." He winked at her then headed off in the direction of the Great Hall.

Carly beamed. She loved it when he called her 'babe'. She started back to the Gryffindor common room.

Meanwhile, back in the hospital ward.

Lily abandoned her chair and was now sitting on the bed beside James. She took his cool hand in both of hers and held it in her lap. She was still gazing into his face, but now silent tears were trekking down her face. She made no movement to wipe them away. She didn't want to. She just wanted to feel something, since she had felt cold and numb ever since her screaming spell hours ago.

James didn't deserve this. If anything, she did. She was always causing him problems. He was probably thinking about what had happened this morning. She thought. So, this really was her fault. If was she wasn't so stupid, this never would have happened to him.

All he ever did was love her and try to get him to love her back. And she just threw back in his face. Why hadn't she told him how she really felt when she had the chance? They could have gone to the Ball together, celebrating the Gryffindor victory over Hufflepuff. Now, he could die. It was unlikely now, but still. He could have DIED. She never would've had the chance to touch him….or hug him…kiss him. He probably hated her now, anyway. She needed him now. She needed to tell him how she felt.

"James," she started quietly. "I'm so sorry. This is all my fault. I don't know if you know this…..but……I really do love you. And I'm so sorry." The tears were flowing down her cheeks like a waterfall. Without thinking, she bent down over him and kissed him, softly.

James was dreaming. He was flying around the Britain Quidditch pitch on the latest broomstick. He was wearing the team robes. There were hundreds of Golden Snitches flying around him and he was catching as many as he could. He was laughing. He hadn't had so much fun in his life. Until, he heard the tweet of a whistle. The British commentator was saying. "And Potter wins the Cup! Come down and get your prize!"

When his feet hit the ground, something pulled him up into the air. The pitch and the Snitches were away from him now, he was so high up. Then-

His eyes opened. Where am I? He thought. And why was Lily kissing him? Not that he minded. He started to kiss her back. Lily sprang back, alarmed.

"What's wrong, Lily?" he rasped. He coughed. "What's wrong with my voice?"

"Madam Pomfrey! He's awake!" she called out. "How do you feel?"

"I feel fine. When am I getting out of here? What time is it? The Ball is probably starting soon."

Madam Pomfrey came in and checked his vitals. "You seem ok. Still some pain I suppose?"

James hadn't noticed it until now. Suddenly, it hit like a ton of bricks. It was practically unbearable. He winced.

"Nope. No pain at all!" he stood up. But he collapsed back down onto his bed, breathing hard. "Ok. Some pain."

"Where does it hurt?"

"My chest mostly." He said honestly.

"I'm afraid you're not going anywhere tonight, Potter. You'll have to stay here until the pain is completely gone."

"But what about the Ball?!"

"No Balls." She said sternly.

"Christmas Balls or regular balls?" he said with a smirk. Even in pain, his sarcastic side couldn't resist.

Madam Pomfrey glared at him. Lily coughed what sounded like a laugh.

"Don't get smart with me, Potter. I don't think I've ever had a patient with such a serious condition as yours, wake up and start smarting me off. Take this- she handed him a small bottle- it'll make the pain temporarily subside." Then she went back to her office.

James took whatever was in the bottle. It tasted like smoke. Then he turned his attention back to Lily.

"So, Lily. What exactly were you kissing me for?"

She simply looked back at him. She wasn't going to hide it anymore. It was too hard. Her feelings were to strong to hold back. She sat back down on the bed at his side.

"James, you have no idea how awful I felt today. When you yelled at me, I wanted to curl up and die. I felt so bad. I should have respected the fact that you were under pressure. Then, after the whole Mudblood thing-she shuddered- you were there for me in an instant. No questions asked. I had no right to yell at you like I did."

He looked at her bewildered. "But Lily, I shouldn't have yelled at you. It's my fault."

She shook her head. "No. I was bothering you. I deserved it."

"Lily, what happened to you today?"

"I guess the stress of that word finally got to me. I've been hearing it for seven years, you know."

"I wish there was some way I could make everyone forget that word. Just because your parents are Muggles doesn't make you any less of the witch you are. And you're great. The greatest witch in the year. It only adds to your charm." He smiled.

She smiled back at him. "James, I have to tell you something. I know things haven't always been great between us. It's taken me seven years to see the real you. I really care about you." She said. Her cheeks only showed the faintest twinge of pink this time.

"Lily, you know I care about you. I've always cared about you. I have feelings for you. And I always will." He said.

"I'll always care about you, too."

They just looked at each other then, neither embarrassed. The smiles on their faces pretty much said it all. But it was James who finally broke the connection.

"Don't you have a Ball to get to?"

She looked confused. "But don't you want me to stay here with you?"

He chuckled. "Are you crazy? It's the Christmas Ball! Go be with your friends, have a good time! It is possible to have a good time without me, you know." He said innocently.

"Are you sure?"

"Of course I'm sure! Go! It starts in an hour!" he tried to smile. In reality, he really wanted to say "No! stay with me!". But he knew she really wanted to go. He could see it.

"Ok…if you're sure." She said slowly. She bent down over him again and kissed him lightly on the lips. But just as she was pulling away, he pulled her to him and deepened the kiss. It was about thirty seconds or so before he released her. Lily didn't want him to.

She sat back up.

He grinned at the look of surprise on her face. "Now get out of here." He waved her away.

Lily stood up and backed away slowly, her eyes still locked on his. "I'll be back in the morning," she promised.

"Can't wait," he smiled at her.

"Bye." She walked out the door and shut it behind her. Then, she collapsed against it. Why couldn't you just say it?? YOU LOVE HIM! You've blown it yet again. She smacked her hand to her forehead. Sometimes I worry about you…. Then she made her way up to Gryffindor Tower, where her friends were waiting with her emerald green dress robes.

James would want me to have a good time. She reassured herself.

Back in the hospital wing, James was planning his escape. He had to get to that Ball and at least see Lily. He concocted a plan to leave the wing, telling Madam Pomfrey that he wanted to get his schoolbooks and do homework. Fortunately, she bought it. Of course, he wasn't getting his books. He was going to change into his dress robes and then head to the Ball. But when he got to the Head Tower, he found that having almost all completely bruised ribs made it very difficult to change clothes. It took him a good two hours to get completely ready. He had never been so tired in his life. Slowly, he started to the Great Hall.

Lily was sitting at one of the fifteen round tables making a circle around the floor of the Great Hall. She was alone, for Carly was dancing with Sirius and Isabella was dancing with Remus. The four of them looked great together, out on the dance floor. Lily had been approached by three guys so far, hoping to dance with the Head Girl of Hogwarts. She only wanted to dance with one person, though. Unfortunately, he was in the Hospital Wing, sore from an accident that occurred only hours ago. So, she sat alone.

The music number that had been playing ended and her friends rushed over to the table, breathless.

"Are you sure you don't want to dance with Sirius, Lily?" Carly took a swig from her butterbeer bottle.

"Carly, I'm not a charity case, thanks." Her tone icy.

"Lily, don't be upset just because James isn't here. Remember? He wants you to have a good time." Isabella reminded her. Her cheeks were pink from dancing and her eyes were shining.

You're right. I'm sorry, girls. I guess I can dance with Sirius so the night won't be a complete waste."

"That's the spirit!" Carly always got a little tipsy from butterbeer. "Now get out there and shake it!"

Lily slowly stood up and headed out to the dance floor where Sirius was waiting. Carly must have put him up to this, she thought.

"Care to dance, Miss Evans?" he asked her.

"Sure, Mr. Black. I'd love to." She said half-heartedly.

"Good grief, Lily. Don't get so excited," he lowered his voice. "People are staring!"

Lily laughed. "Let them stare!" she said, even though she knew he was joking. She grabbed his arms and swung him around. But suddenly the music slowed, and a beautiful peaceful melody replaced the fast one.

"Oh. I'll go get Carly. I'm sure she'll want the first slow dance," she started to head back to the table. But Sirius grabbed her arm.

"Oh no Miss Evans. Carly and I already decided that the first dance goes to you." He bowed to her. Then he put her arms on his shoulders and put his on her waist and began moving in time to the music.

It all happened so fast that Lily started to laugh. "Fine, we'll do this your way."

"Lily, I just want to tell you something, one friend to another."

"Ok…….what?"

"I think you're really good for James. He's never been able to keep a steady girlfriend. Which we know is because he's completely infatuated with you. So I know you'll be good for him."

Lily was surprisingly touched by this vote of confidence from Sirius. He was always joking around and rarely said anything serious.

"Thanks, Sirius. You know, things have changed between James and me. I care about him deeply. More than you know."

He looked at her knowingly. "Lily, I think we ALL know," he put emphasis on the word. "We know you have a thing for him. It's been there all along."

"You knew?"

"It was kind of hard not to notice."

She smiled sheepishly. "OK I admit it."

He smiled back at her. "We knew it."

"Sirius, you really have been a good friend through all of this. Thanks."

She gave him a light, friendly hug. He hugged back.

"No problem."

James finally made it to the Great Hall. "OK that took what? Another hour?" He muttered to himself. He pulled the big doors of the hall open and scanned the room for Lily, until he found her. She was dancing with Sirius. James thought she was truly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Her robes of emerald green matched her brilliant eyes and her auburn hair gave off the aura of an angel. And James thought she truly looked like one. He couldn't think of words to describe how he felt. He started over to her.

Her back was to him and Sirius saw him first, his eyes wide.

"Uh, Lily? How would you feel if you saw James here right this moment?"

"Well, first of all I'd be shocked and surprised."

"Prepare to be shocked and surprised." He turned her around.

"James! What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in the hospital wing in bed? Her surprise turned to slight anger. He could be hurting inside.

"Lily, don't be mad at me. I had to see you!"

"You're putting yourself at risk, James! What if you get hurt again?"

"You can't live life being scared, Lily. How can you have fun if you do what the doctor tells you? I wanted to see you, so I came. And……I'm seeing you." He laughed.

She smiled. She couldn't resist.

"Sirius, do you care if I finish this song with Lily?" James asked him. He had been patiently waiting for his cue to exit and return to Carly.

"Not at all," He said gallantly. "Have at it." He headed back to the table where Carly was silently watching the scene.

James moved closer to Lily and took her in his arms. She put her arms around his shoulders and rested her head on his chest. He sighed. He loved everything about her at this moment.

Lily pulled away. "James, there's something I have to tell you…..I love you. I love you so much that I hurt inside when I saw you fall. I wanted to be the one falling. But then again, I have been falling. Falling in love with you. I know people say you don't know what love is when you're a teenager. But I don't care. This is the real thing. I love you and I want to be with you. I don't care what people say. I love you." Now that she had finally said it, she liked hearing it.

James didn't look shocked or surprised by this sudden announcement. He had always known this deep down. He had just been waiting to hear it from her, personally.

He took a deep breath. "Lily, you know I love you. I've always loved you. Ever since the moment I saw you in first year. I couldn't take my eyes off of you!"

Lily laughed softly. "I know that. Now that we're here, at this point, what do you think will happen between us?"

"Lily, I can't say that I know for certain that things will work out perfectly for us and we'll be together forever. No one can say that. But I CAN say this. Right now, you're the only one I want to be with."

"I don't believe in all that 'we'll be together forever' rubbish because nobody knows for certain what might happen in the future. Let's just worry about what happening for us, right now."

He pulled her closer. "Lily, will you say it again? I like hearing you say it."

She laughed. "James Potter, I love you!"

Instead of replying with an answer, he tilted her chin up towards him and bent down slightly. He kissed her. It was the sweetest kiss they could have ever imagined. Lily never wanted it to end. Right now, James couldn't feel any of the pain that was circulating though his body. All he could feel was her body against his and the feel of her lips against his. Everyone and everything else was forgotten. Neither cared that they were being stared at.

Isabella sighed. "Isn't that the most romantic thing you've ever seen?" she asked the group.

"I don't know. Tell me if this is." Sirius stood up swiftly and went over to the stage the band was playing on and grabbed the mic.

"Carly Peterson!" He boomed into it. Couples all over jumped and turned their attention to him. Lily and James were knocked out of their embrace. "What the hell…" James muttered. "What now?"

"Carly Peterson!" he said again.

Carly stood up. "Yeah?" She said.

"Not very romantic," Isabella muttered into Remus's ear.

"Give him a moment," he said back.

"Carly," Sirius started. "These past months have made me realize one thing. That I can't live without you. I love you more than life itself!" He declared dramatically.

Carly covered her mouth with her hands. No one had ever told her they loved her before. She had always thought Sirius would eventually get tired of her and move on to someone else who would be willing to put out for him. Apparently , that wasn't true.

Sirius continued, "When we finally get out of this place, will you live with me? We can start a life together!"

Carly's eyes widened in pure glee. Nothing would make her life more interesting that living in sin!

"Yes, Sirius! I love you too! And I'd love to move in with you after school!" she cried equally dramatically.

They ran to each other and started hugging and making out.

Isabella turned to Remus. "OK…….that was a little extreme. It was romantic, though."

Remus shook his head. "It was more like WAY extreme…don't you think?"

Isabella rolled her eyes. "Come on Remus. Live a little." With that she pulled him to her and kissed him.

Lily couldn't believe it. Somehow Carly could always steal her thunder. Not that she really cared. She had got what she had been waiting her whole life to find. Someone who loved her. Nothing could make her any happier at that moment.

James couldn't believe it. Sirius would always been the king of romance. He was a pure genius. Not that he really cared. He knew that one day Lily would finally return his feelings for her. He just didn't think it would be in this natural life. He couldn't believe he was so lucky.

They turned back to each other. The band started up another slow song and every couple in the Great Hall joined them on the floor and danced. Isabella with Remus, Carly with Sirius, and of course, Lily with James. Nothing could be more perfect.

Later that night, when the ball was over, Lily and James expressed their love for each other. It was meant to be. Forever.

Epilogue:

When Sirius and Carly left Hogwarts, they indeed moved in together. Unfortunately, after seven months, they broke up and Carly moved back in with her parents. Carly Peterson soon later became one of the Chasers on the Britain team, where she excelled as their all-time high scorer. After the break-up, Sirius moved in with James and his family.

Remus and Isabella exchanged letters for more than a year before surprisingly, Remus became interested in someone else, and broke things off with Isabella. Isabella now runs her own bookshop in Diagon Alley.

Lily and James didn't move in together after school but did continue their blossoming relationship. They pursued the same career (Auror) and after dating for 3 years, married and had a son who they named Harry James.

The rest is history.

~*~

well…..i didn't really expect this to be the end. But I realized that it would be best for me. I was running out of places to go with this. I don't feel that I really did my best with this story. But unfortunately, people change and move on……Harry Potter just isn't as important to me as it was when I started this…not that I don't still like it. I fully intend to keep reading the books and seeing the movies.

I hope many of you enjoyed this story and thank you for waiting while I took my time finishing it. What would a writer be without ppl who actually read their work? Just another face in the crowd mostly…….

To people who want to be writers…don't write about something that you wouldn't want to rea yourself. That's wat I tried to do. Write something that I myself would want to read bc I was tired of reading stories that disappointed me. So I wrote one of my own.

Thanks for reading.

Feel free to send me all the flames ya want for this one.

I'm out