Disclaimer: Alas, J.K Rowling owns all but the journal idea.
This chapter is dedicated to everyone who has ever reviewed my story! Thank you!
Chapter Eighteen: The End and The Beginning
As usual, my parents escorted me the to Hogwarts Express and saw me safely aboard. We met James and Sirius at the baggage car and James kindly offered to put my trunk and owl cage away for me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my dad give my mum an approving look. Well, if I ever do go out with James, I won't have to beg for their permission, that's for sure.
Since we had to report to the Heads Compartment, James and I left together, which probably gave my mum the incorrect assumption that we're dating. I hope she won't be incorrect for too much longer.
As I had hoped, James has taken to being Head Boy very well. He kind of took over the meeting and didn't let me do anything, but I think it was because he's trying to prove something. Since he wasn't a Prefect last year, a lot of people think that James isn't the right person for the job, and he is trying to show them that he can do it.
For several years, I felt the same way. I felt that I had to prove something. Being a Muggleborn was difficult enough without having to deal with pureblood snobs who looked down on me, and people like me, just because we don't have wizarding lines that date back farther than anyone can tell. I felt that I had to better than everybody else, and then maybe people would accept me.
Now I know that I can't force them like me or accept me; they have to want to accept me. It doesn't mean that I've stopped trying to do my best; it just means that I've stopped trying to earn the approval of a people who will never give it to me.
Today in class, Rabaston Lestrange deliberately tripped James as he was turning in the sample of his potion at the end of class. James stumbled, but held on to his vial, saving him from failing for the day.
Only last year, this would have started a full-scale war between the Slytherins and the Gryffindors, but James completely ignored it. I think his words were: "Sorry Lestrange, reckon I didn't see your foot there."
Sirius was all in favor of beating the pulp out of Lestrange after class, but James told him no.
This may sound incredibly stupid, but I'm proud of James. Like I said, last year he would have hexed Lestrange into oblivion. But this year, he was the better man and ignored it. He's come so far.
One of my many duties as Head Girl is to patrol the halls once a week at night to make sure that students aren't out of bed. At first, I wasn't too happy about this because it cuts into my homework and friend time, but I have recently decided that walking around the school at night keeping an eye out for students is not such as bad thing.
In fact, it's quite a nice job.
Why? Because I get to walk around the school at night with James.
It's great. All we have to do is watch for students out of bed and it's not exactly strenuous work. Mostly, we just talk about school, our friends, Quidditch, and a million other random things.
Me: "It's ironic, last year you would have been the one lurking about after hours and now you're the one looking for people."
James: "It does feel kind of strange. Sort of like how the other half lives."
Me: "Do you still wander out at night?"
James: "I don't know if I should disclose that information to the Head Girl…"
Me: "How about to your friend?"
James: "In that case…yeah, I do sneak out sometimes. Not as much as I used to though."
Me: "Can I come sometime?"
James: "Lily Evans wants to sneak out at night?"
Me: "I'm trying new stuff."
James: "Sirius and I will take you to the kitchens sometime. How would that be?"
I don't know when we'll go, but I'm looking forward to it. I've never broken the rules in this way before. It'll be a brand new experience.
Tonight is the Halloween Feast, and it's been exactly two years since James first asked me out. I remember how he stood up and shouted it out for the entire Hall to hear. "Hey! Evans? Want to go out with me?"
How unromantic and positively rude was that? Well, it's in the past now, and I'm sure that James would like to forget it. If it comes down to it, so would I.
Sometimes I find myself wishing that James and I had become friends a long time ago. I wonder what our friendship would be like now. Would we be dating? Would we even like each other? Would we be seeing other people?
Even though I wonder these thoughts on occasion, I like the way things are now. What happened before between us is history. It's in the past. I cherish the friendship that James and I share, and I wouldn't give it up for anything.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but ever since I asked him to let me sneak out somewhere with him, I've noticed a change in James. He's not avoiding me, but he's completely obsessed with Quidditch, Head Boy duties and schoolwork. He never seems have time to spend with me anymore.
Maybe he doesn't like me anymore….
I was worried about James not liking me, so I consulted Alice.
Alice: "Does James still like you?"
Me: "That's what I said."
Alice: "Are you completely blind? Of course he likes you! It's obvious to everyone else."
Me: "It seemed like he's been really busy lately and I haven't seen him much and then I thought that maybe he was avoiding me because he didn't like me and then…"
Alice: "Lily! We've all been busy. I live in the same room as you, and I haven't seen you that much. It's okay."
She's right of course.
Maybe I should go ask Remus for his opinion.
Well, I just got back from consulting Remus who up until that moment did not know that I fancy James. I forgot about that little detail before I asked.
Remus: "Sorry, Lily. I must have heard you wrong. I could have sworn that you just asked if James still liked you."
Me: "I did."
Remus: "Are you serious? Lily, trust me, he still likes you. The day that James Potter doesn't worship the ground you walk on will be the day that…penguins fly. And penguins will never fly."
I know I got the same answer from Remus as from Alice, but I feel better about Remus's answer. I think it's because Remus actually lives with James and knows him better than Alice. That combined with the fact that Remus is a very perceptive person and he picks up on a lot of stuff that everyone else misses, I should have expected an answer like this.
Today in Transfiguration, I had some trouble with the lesson so I asked James for assistance and he agreed to help me.
Things were going fine until I messed up the spell and a loud bang and lots of smoke issued from my wand with a blast that sent me flying backwards. I thought I was going to land on the floor or worse, a desk (that would have hurt), when I felt strong arms wrap themselves around me and set me back on my feet. I looked up through the smoke into the face of my rescuer, and saw hazel eyes shielded by glasses staring back at me.
James and I stared into each other's eyes for a moment before Sirius cleared his throat. He quickly released me as I whispered my thanks.
I got five points taken off for disrupting the class, but the look in James's eyes when he caught me made it all worth it and more. I can tell; he still likes me.
Tonight, Emmeline came upstairs and told me that James and Sirius were at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me. I wanted to look nice for James, so I quickly brushed my hair and straightened my robes before hurrying down the stairs to meet him.
As Emmeline had said, they were waiting for me, James looked expectant while Sirius looked slightly impatient.
After we had exited the Common Room, the boys stepped into the shadows and motioned me over. As I came near, James pulled a silvery cloak out from underneath his robes. "Invisibility cloak." He muttered softly to me and threw the cloak around all three of us before we headed off the kitchens.
I finally know how he and the rest of the lads were always able to get away with their pranks: The invisibility cloak! Of course they wouldn't get caught; no one could ever see them. I wonder where he got it?
James's cloak isn't the only thing they use to help they move around the school undetected. They have a highly detailed map, which they call the Marauder's Map. It has everything you could ever want to know about the school on it. It has secret passages, passwords, and it even has little dots representing actual people moving around in correspondence with the real people.
So way back when James was my personal stalker, this was how he always knew where I was. I'm not sure whether to be cross or impressed or both.
I've never been to the kitchens before, so I was completely unprepared for the multitude of house elves that bombarded us when we walked in the door. The entrance is behind a picture of a bowl of fruit. All the house-elves knew James and Sirius like family. Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else find that a little freaky? I mean, how much do they sneak down here? It's not they don't feed us at mealtime! But yet they both ate as if they hadn't had dinner already. Boys are so strange.
Are the teachers trying to kill us? I have more schoolwork than I ever thought possible and I also have rounds tonight with James.
At least that's one good thing about today. It's probably going to be the only good thing about it.
I'm so excited, I can barely write! Like I said before, tonight I had rounds with James. We got tot talking as we usually do. At first, it was about nothing in particular, but then it got more serious. I'm jumping right to the serious part, because that's the important part.
James: "Why do you sign your letters, 'Always, Lily Evans'?"
Me: "Because I'll always be Lily Evans."
James: "I wouldn't bet on that."
Me: "Why not?"
James: "Well, I'm assuming that you'll get married at some point or another."
Me: "And why do you assume that?"
James: "Because the bloke that lets you get away isn't worthy of…I don't know what… but any bloke that lets you get away from him is an idiot."
Me: "What's so great about me?"
James: "What's not great about you?"
James: "I'm just telling it like it is Lily. I like you. A lot. I admire your good qualities and I even admire your faults. If my liking the way you bite your fingernails when you're nervous or my liking the way that you chew on the tips of your sugar quills instead of sucking on them or how I like the way that you drum your fingernails on the desk when you're board or the way that I forget all my troubles when I'm with you doesn't convince you of my feelings then…I give up."
James: "I've been chasing you for two years and you still don't like me. I'm starting to think that I'm going to have to spend the rest of life without you."
Me: "You can't help who you fall for. It's a funny thing, really, who some people end up falling for."
I was trying to hint at the fact that I like him, but he seemed oblivious to it.
James: "Take me and you for example. My friends thought I was mental when told them that I liked you. They couldn't see you and me together. But I could. I always have. Lily…I have something to say to you that's been a long time in coming."
Me: "All right."
James: "Lily…I know we haven't exactly gotten along in the past, but that was my fault. I was such a prat…but I hope that I've changed for the better and that I'm now a lad worthy of contending for your heart. You're…words can't express how wonderful you are Lily. You're the best sport I've ever known…except for maybe my parents…. After the way I treated you back in fifth year I'm surprised you're willing to come within fifty feet of me. Lily…if you say no, then that's it, I won't ask ever again. Lily…. I…Lily, would you go out with me? I would like to be able to call you my girlfriend."
I realized then that I had to let him know how I felt now, or I might never get another chance.
I stood on my tiptoes, and planted my lips firmly on his. He seemed rather surprised at first, but he soon relaxed and put his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. One of my hands ended up in his hair and the other came to rest on his top of his chest so that my hand was half gripping his shoulder. I could feel his heart beating quickly underneath my touch.
This kiss was different than the kisses that we had shared underneath the mistletoe at Christmas time; this kiss was full of meaning and feeling. I think that both of us had wanted to kiss the other like that for so long and when I kissed him, we just kind of…. forgot ourselves and became lost in it all.
After a minute, James pulled away and looked into my eyes.
James: "Is that a yes? Because if that wasn't, I don't know what was."
Me: "Of course it's a yes, you prat! I wouldn't kiss just anybody like that."
James: "Is that any way to talk to your boyfriend?"
His face broke into a wide smile and I smiled back.
Me: "Can you repeat that?"
James: "I said: Is that…"
Me: "No, the boyfriend part."
We were both leaning in for another kiss when we heard someone clear their throat behind us.
James whipped around, wand at the ready, clearly expecting so see a Slytherin standing there. But it wasn't a Slytherin. It wasn't even a student. It was Professor Dumbledore.
It felt like my face was on fire I was blushing so badly. We were caught, and by the Headmaster no less. I was worried that he was going to scold us for snogging in the hallways while we were supposed to be doing our rounds, but then he smiled, and I could tell that he wasn't cross.
Dumbledore: "Miss Evans, Mr. Potter. May I be so bold as to say, it's about time? I've watched you two for years. I was telling Professor McGonagall only yesterday that this year would be the year you two would finally come together, and it seems that I was right. Mr. Potter? A quick word, if you please?"
He then took James to the side while I waited. Dumbledore talked to him for a bit and then James smiled and shook hands with the Headmaster. I don't know what Dumbledore said to James; he wouldn't tell me.
James and I returned to the common room hand in hand, but all of our friends had already gone to bed, so they didn't get to see us together.
James and I sat down one the sofa (no, we did not snog) and talked.
James: "What changed your mind about me?"
Me: "You did."
And it's true. His actions changed my way of thinking. However, it wasn't only James that needed to change, I needed to change to. I re-read this journal the other night, and I laughed at how completely and utterly stupid and naïve I was just two years ago. True, James was a massive prat, but I was horrible to him.
Certain events helped him to grow up and really, it was just the passage of time and the normal growing up that everyone goes through.
After a bit more talking, James gave me a goodnight kiss and we parted for the night. When I got up to the dormitory, Alice was the only one still up waiting for me.
Alice: "How were rounds?"
Me: "It was great."
Alice: "Besides the fact that you got to spend the evening with James, what was so great about rounds?"
Me: "Alice, I'm dating James Potter."
Alice is usually very calm and collected, but tonight she let out a yell and threw her pillow in the air.
Alice: "YOU ARE? AHH! I KNEW IT! LILY! THAT'S WONDERFUL!"
I was in the process of trying to quiet her down, when all the others girls woke up and demanded to know what was going on. Of course, Alice told them and soon everyone was yelling and making a huge racket. Some fifth year actually knocked on our door and told us to shut up.
Hestia: "NO! Haven't you heard? LILY EVANS IS DATING JAMES POTTER!"
It took several minutes and several more disgruntled students to calm my friends down, but eventually everyone settled down and went back to sleep. Everyone but me that is. I can't sleep, too much is going through my head right now.
I, Lily Evans, am dating James Potter and life couldn't be better.
What in the world was that? I'm still awake, and I heard a really loud noise coming from the other side of the tower. It sounded vaguely like "Yes!" I wonder if James and the lads are celebrating too….
This morning, James was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs to escort me to breakfast. I took his hand, and amid whistles and cheers from our friends, we set off to the Great Hall.
Sirius decided to make a right fool of himself and pranced down the hallways singing "James and Lily, sittin' in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes LOVE! Then comes MARRIAGE! Then comes JAMES with the baby carriage! I get to be Godfather!"
James and I ignored him as best we could, but I ended up casting a silencing charm on him right before we entered the Great Hall, lest he decided to sing in front of the entire school.
I love dating James. He's so sweet. Today he's been trying to put on this act of being the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. I told that he didn't have to try, he already was and that I liked him just the way he was.
And I do.
James and I just returned from our first official date. We snuck out to Hogsmeade and went to the Three Broomsticks.
Romantic? Not really.
Original? Not in the least.
The whole point of this journal was to write down each time each time James asked me out. Since I finally said yes, I don't think it's necessary to keep writing in here anymore. So long journal, it's been fun.
It's been three years since I last wrote in this journal. So much has happened between then and now that I feel I need to fill in the gaps.
I'm marrying James Potter.
He proposed to me on the anniversary of our becoming a couple. (November 15th) I can still remember exactly what he said.
James: "Lily…I love you."
Me: "I love you, too."
James: "I've asked your father and he said that it was all right with him, and….well…Lily I love you and I'll never stop loving you. I know we were meant for each other. I want to spend the rest of my life with you Lily."
He then got down on one knee and took my hand, slipping a glittering diamond ring onto my ring finger. Then he asked me to marry him.
It's still hard for me to believe sometimes that tomorrow I will cease to be Lily Evans and promise to become Lily Potter for better or worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health, for as long as I live.
I love James and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. Even if the rest of my life is two years, twenty years, or two hundred years, I want to spend it with James by my side. Merlin, how cheesy did that sound? Oh well, it's true.
This will be my final entry in this journal. Maybe someday, years down the road, I'll pull this out and read it, for old times sake.
This is not an end, but a beginning. It is a beginning of something greater and both mysterious and wonderful all in one. And so where I should write the end, I write:
The End. And the Beginning.
James Potter slowly closed the journal and smiled, a mixed look of contentment and amusement was plainly written across his handsome face.
Beside him, Lily bit her lip anxiously, wondering how her husband would respond to her journal from their Hogwarts days. In front of her on the floor, a baby laughed happily in his playpen and she smiled down at their son.
James turned to Lily and grinned widely. "You had this the whole time we were going out, and all the time we've been married and you've never showed it to me before?"
"Maybe," Lily admitted shyly.
"Why didn't you?" James demanded, his smile widening as he watched Lily squirm.
"I don't know…I just…."
"I love you, Lily," James said as he pulled his wife closer to him on the couch.
Lily looked up into the hazel eyes of her husband and smiled. "I love you too, James," She whispered and then their lips met in a tender kiss.