The Trouble With Being Perfect

Chapter Eight – That's How Life Goes

No one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.-Hazlitt

Umm, well, uh, tomorrow was a Sunday, so that invitation didn't quite work out. However, I did sit next to her on Monday. I sat next to her in every Charms class except for one the rest of the year. I worked up class period by class period until we sat together in almost every class. Transfiguration was the exception because I will always have a loyalty to the Marauders, and let's face the facts; it's great to pull McGonagall's strings. Every class period since first year has started with, "You there, settle down in the back!" Why would I want to change that?

Our relationship progressed from there, but Lily rarely made the first move. I think she was always waiting to see what I would do, and more than a little expecting I would suddenly explode like a lunatic. I admit though, being with Lily has made me different. I hesitate to say it has made me a bit nicer, but it has. When I am with her, it just isn't worth it to torment a random Slytherin. It will always be worth it, though, to taunt Snape. I love tormenting Snape, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of that. It really is a shame I don't see so much of him as I used to.

All Snapes aside, I have a great time when I'm with her. She just makes everything better by bringing a sort of sparkle and glow to things. She laughs with and at me and treats me like we've been friends all of our lives. She told me once that she saw something that day to dim all the terrible things I've done. Can you imagine that? One day out of our entire lives changed what she thought of me enough to just cut me a little slack and just give me a chance. I don't understand what I did to make her change her mind, but I am sure glad I did it.

For awhile, we were just friends. No matter how much I was near her, though, I just wanted more. I wanted more of her time, her attention, her thoughts, her everything. It was incredibly reassuring to realize that even when we became a couple, we were still great friends. We could do homework together without losing our minds or throw rocks in the lake and make it a game. Life with Lily is fun.

That is basically what it amounts to…fun. Everything was intensified when I was near her.

I had a lot to learn about Lily, despite my superior, er, research. She wasn't as social as I thought she was. I was incredibly shocked to find out she was more than happy to sit on the floor of the Gryffindor common room reading a book by herself or stare out the window. I'm a rather friendly person, so that was kind of hard to get used to, but at the same time, it was really, really nice. It was sort of a relief to be able to be near someone without going through the hassle of making a conversation when you actually want to think.

Lily's got the thinking thing down. Inside of her head there is apparently a whole little world where she can analyze every little detail and work out alternate scenarios and endings. Sometimes it's weird because I can see her thinking because it is obvious she isn't really with me. Her little anecdotes are priceless. When Sirius got stuck in the stairs, she commented it would have been funny if all the cats in the school would have started climbing on him. She always has something running through her mind, and a lot of times I sit and watch her think, just waiting to hear what she'll say next. Sad, isn't it?

Anybody could observe I was besotted with Lily from the start, but I could honestly say that I fell in love with her. I mean the real her, not the girl I was chasing around, but the one that I sat next to in class and sat in the old oak tree with. That was my Lily. I just knew it one day when I saw her sitting with a couple friends by the lake and I could say she was my girlfriend and I was extraordinarily proud of that. I lived to see her smile at me or have her hold my hand.

Yes, I know, all levels of pathetic.

But the thing is, she is it for me. My mum even likes her, what more could a good looking wizard such as me ask for? When I invited her home to meet them, they were shocked out of their bloody minds. They thought Sirius and I were planning a joke or something. So, they were speechless when they opened the door to a beautiful red-haired, green-eyed girl that went by the name of Lily. Mum squealed and looked around like she had lost grip on the world. Dad loved her.

Honestly, if I would've had any intention of letting her go, he would have adopted her. He has a scary fascination with Muggles, and since she was Muggle-born, he pumped her full of questions. She also fixed a curlinron for him. Muggles have crazy things.

Mum was a bit skeptical at first, but then she saw that Lily was a good dresser. Mum has this awful prejudice that involves clothes. She apparently thinks that if a girl can't match a skirt and blouse she can't be decent.

There are some things I just won't ever understand about women.

Lily and I did reach a terrifying point in our relationship three years after Hogwarts. The world has been scary for a long time, so that was only a small influence.

She had been a journalist for The Evening Prophet and a columnist for Witch Weekly for the past two years. She is honestly good at writing; I'd say that weird little world in her head helps her out. She regularly had front page articles and she even did interviews and reports for the Wizarding Wireless Network. Her charisma could be turned on like a sink and people all across England could hear her the way I do…when she is just bursting with excitement and life. Most importantly, Lily loved her job. And then she got the chance to move to Russia. Our Ministry of Magic was forming some sort of huge alliance with Russia, and The Prophet wanted a reporter installed as a foreign correspondent. Of course, they wanted Lily.

It was a huge break for her career; I couldn't help but be happy for her. She would be writing articles for Witch Weekly, The Prophet, and WWN News. Hell, I would be thrilled if I was her.

But I was scared for me. I wanted to scream and throw stuff, and I honestly felt out of control. I was at the point where the rage just boils and bubbles inside of you and you just shake with fury. Everything was great, but now my whole world could be blown to smithereens with one international Floo permit. If there was any way I could do it, I would quit the Ministry and move to Russia with her. Unfortunately, intelligence officials can't just switch countries. I was in a seriously bad spot. Even worse was that I didn't know exactly where I stood with her. We had flats on the same floor in Dover, but we didn't live together. I mentioned it once every six months, but she always had some sort of excuse not to. Her job kept her up at odd hours, she was messy, I was messy, Sirius would never leave us alone. She kept saying she loved me, but sometimes I wondered.

And then for the first time, she made the first move in our relationship.

We went to see a play in London one night and we had some really great balcony seats, procured by a family friend. I can't ever understand those things, so I was wallowing in my despair, trying desperately to solve my Lily problem. There seemed no way to win. I wouldn't be allowed to leave my job, and any way I could persuade her into staying would lead to her eternal regret and my eternal feelings of shoe scum.

Just as I was ready to ask Argentina to cry for me, Lily threw me for a first class loop. "James, would you marry me?"

I stared and simultaneously felt the room start spinning and blood start rushing in my ears.

She propped her elbow on my arm rest and I suddenly felt ready to laugh. She was going to be the rest of my life. "I would love to marry you."

We smiled, and of course, snogged until we were politely told to either take it outside or settle down. That was when a dejecting thought jumped into my head. "Whatever happened to Russia?"

"I was only going to take it if you said no. I want to be here with you." She took my hand, "Forever."


That's how I got Lily Evans to be mine. She is mine, you know. We got married and now we have Harry. Harry is mine too, and I'm not sure of which one I'm prouder to have. There's no doubt my little boy is going to grow up to be every bit as charming and handsome as me. After all, someone as perfect as me has to have a perfect baby, right? Besides that, he has the perfect mother, so the lucky boy is destined for uber-perfection.

What's the moral of this story? You are responsible for your own life. I was, and it turned out rather nicely. Some people believe in fate, but I definitely don't. Perhaps people are given goals, but no life is ever concretely planned. Just imagine being given a hand of cards and being told that this was what you've got and nothing else. No chance to draw, discard, or trade. Each person's life is their own, and it is their own responsibility to make it what they want. Everybody should set their sights on what they want and dedicate themselves to achieving it.

That's what life is about…working to get what you want. Just think of it as a trip and getting there is half the fun because life is short and you have to enjoy every day you have. I worked for years to get Lily to like me, but I didn't stop living just because she told me to get lost. In a way, that makes it even better, because I can see how much happier I am with her.

The most important thing, though, is be happy. Sometimes life is just a big pain in the arse, and your whole being screams to just throw in the towel and conform, but you can't do that. Life is about being happy and laughing and talking and thinking and crying. Tears and sadness are inevitable and they are little detours to your goal, but what matters is how fast you can get back up and on your way again. And when you get back on, you remember how it was to fall down and try to avoid it again, but don't let it dictate life from that point. Then you finally reach your goal, and you discover the work isn't over. You have to hang on and never let go. That's what I did, and that is just how life goes. Do you know how I know I am right about this?

I am James Potter, and I am perfect.

Perfection itself is imperfection. -Horowitz

The End


A/N: That's that. Thanks for reading; I hope everybody had a good time. That's about all I have to say. Abbia un giorno grande