Title: The Eye of the Beholder

Summary: We are not at fault, none of us. The blame lies with our perceptions—that which prejudices us from seeing what is the truth. Some people take minutes to learn this; others take lifetimes. For Lily Evans, however, it took a person: James Potter.

Disclaimer: I don't need to go over this drivel again. This is obviously not my idea; I've stolen it from JK Rowling; I acknowledge and admit that.

A/N: So. I need to go over certain things. Yes, I am rewriting this story; this isn't Opposite Ends of the Spectrum anymore. It's The Eye of the Beholder. I did this for several reasons, mostly personal ones. The previous version bored me to tears, and I often read it to chase away any symptoms of insomnia (Exaggeration: something I am prone to!), so I figured that I could really just change everything in this. I know some of you will dislike this version; and some will be delighted with it, but I can't help that. I like it. And that's that.

I do, however, apologise for how long it's taken for me to upload a chapter. Sadly enough, I'd actually finished writing this a little more than three months ago. But I was so busy that I never got around to sending it to my betas. My betas themselves were horrendously busy, so it was just a bad situation. So. I figured I'd do this all on my lonesome with some help from a couple people, and just upload it already. And here it is.

I can't promise that future chapters will be much more quickly written. My school's taking up most of my time, and, unfortunately, my life doesn't consist of fanfics. But I'll try, and that's really all I can promise. Enjoy!


Prologue

We don't see things as they are.
We see them as
we are.

-ANAIS NIN

Song:

The Eye of the Beholder—Metallica.

A love story.

For some reason, I cannot prevent myself from classifying this story as that; there seems to be no other suitable name. And, yet, I find that label lacking—being, on the one hand, far too general, and, on the other, far too specific. No doubt this is a love story, but it's more, too; there's friendship here, magic, hate, laughter—and most importantly, perceptions.

That's really what it comes down to. Perceptions. They can break or make us, are easy to create, and difficult to let go of. Often, I wonder how the problem itself—the solution to it—was so unbelievably simple. For two brilliant people, I could never quite comprehend how they didn't see it—for they never understood themselves, let alone each other. But that, I suppose, is unfair; after all, I was never in their position.

I guess that was what stirred me to start writing this. I needed to understand them, to know what they were actually going through. What motivated them? Why had they seemingly hated each other for so long?As simple as the questions sounded, the answers eluded me. No, I reasoned, no. They were Head Girl and Boy; they couldn't have missed it.And, yet, astonishingly, they had.

To me, she was more fascinating, even from the start. She had a quality about her that drew people, that attracted them, being fiery, brilliant, smart, stubborn—and stupid, sometimes. He was interesting, too, but he struck me as overly perfect, at least on the surface. There was too much talent in him, and although he had his faults, they didn't seem to bother him as much as they bothered her.

In fact, he bothered her like no one else. That intrigued me, too. Why did he matter? There were many others like him, arrogant arses whom she barely glanced at. But James—no, the situation was much different there. Everything he said angered her; his insults struck her to her very core; she lost her composure with him more than with anyone else.

Of course, she affected him similarly, too, but his situation was a little different. In his case, she was his obsession; he had fallen for her at the age of fourteen, and continued until late in his Sixth Year, when he gave up. In fact, their relationship grew worse after he gave up. He was, after all, no longer someone who merely chased her, trying to please her with foolish antics that worsened her opinion of him; he became someone who actively tried to hurt her feelings.

But that is neither here nor there. The question is much simpler, I think:

Who am I?

To the dreamy-eyed, romantic reader, those who secretly fantasise about Prince Charming, who feel a thrill upon hearing a love story, live for romantic movies, adore Valentine's Day, I am Cupid. I am bringing together two people, destined, as they would say, to be with each other.

To the cynical, angry reader, secretly mad at the world, hating love and all its antics, I am a fairy-tale writer, a naïve optimist. They are the type who snort at seeing a couple kiss, predicting break-ups left and right. What nonsense, they say, rolling their eyes, sighing exasperatedly. It's all overdone. Nothing's like that in the real world. There's pain in the real world.

To the practical, slightly more serious reader, I am something much different. I am an observer, a voyeur, a narrator of a story that isn't mine. Perhaps, even, this reader doesn't really care who I am. It only matters to them that I relate this story well, and that, of course, it will all be worthwhile in the end.

Who I am is somewhere in between all three. I like to think of myself as unimportant, a mere storyteller. The story that you will hear will not be exact; it, perhaps, will even be exaggerated and implausible on some points, but it is how I will write it, how I will put words to paper.

Curiously enough, I am related to James and Lily in no way. I am only their writer; they are real to me, yes, as they are real to other writers who use them in their stories, but there is no other relationship I share with them. But they are unique to me, special—I am sure there is no other writer—no other reader, even—who thinks of them as I do.

After all, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

This story, then, is about that—

The eye of the beholder.


A/N: Thanks to taniita and Lu.

Tani, you helped majorly; you're an angel!

And, Lu... We don't need to swell your ego now, do we? Lol.Love you, pet.