Stalking Lily Evans Chapter Six: Varying Degrees of Brilliance

Notes: Spans chapters...16-20, with some extra stuff (as in after 20). 'Member, Sirius writes in bold, Remus in bold italics, blah, blah, so on and so forth.

This is the last chapter…as you could probably tell from the 16-20 and the fact that I said it was going to be in chapter 5…

Sunday, 15 February

Approximately 11:30 a.m., hiding from my friends in the library

I've had some great nights, and I've had some bad ones. I've had nights where everything goes off without a hitch and I've had nights where I get my leg broken trying to run away from McGonagall. I've had nights where I sit up all night with my friends eating cake and having ridiculous conversations about strawberry ice cream and the female population of Hogwarts and I've had nights where I want to stick my head in a fireplace.

And where does my date with Lily rate on that spectrum, you ask?

Well, let's put it this way: my leg is fine and I can sit next to the fire without supervision.

That's right.

I am the greatest person ever. I took Lily Evans out last night and emerged with my reproductive organs secure and, to the best of my knowledge, working properly.

I feel like a gladiator. I have faced the lion and emerged triumphant. Only not as bloody. And without the whole death thing. And the costumes. Although I would look dashing in the cape. Not so much the armor, it's too clunky; it would overpower my lithe form.

I'm going off on weird tangents again.

They really need to make medications for this.

I could invent some.

But it'd take a lot of time and dedication that I simply do not have.

Anyway. Last night. Right.

So I was late. Like, really late. Like, thirty minutes late. I had gone to check on the Room of Requirement, but I'd finished that at 8:45 (I was supposed to meet her at nine). I was just standing outside of the common room, trying to make myself go inside. I was so nervous; my teeth were sort of chattering and I was babbling to myself. I was giving myself a pep talk, actually, pathetic as that sounds. It went a little bit like this:

"You can do this, Potter."

"No, I can't. I really, really can't."

"Yes, you can. You are attractive, you are athletic, you're devastatingly witty, you're charming, and Sirius is right, the glasses do give you an especially intellectual appearance."

"It's not real, though."

"No one else has to know that."

"She'll see through me. She'll enact that broom cupboard scenario, I know she will."

"What are the chances that she'll pick that way to kill you? Out of all the circumstances she's probably thought up about your death, what makes you think she'll use that one?"

"Self fulfilling prophecies!"

And so on. For almost an hour.

I can waste time for England.

When I finally went inside, she was going up the stairs. I panicked; she was leaving before our date had even started. I was convinced that I had ruined possibly my only chance with her because I like the sound of my voice so much. So I just blurted out something—I don't even know what I said, but it was apparently v. charming, as she turned around. She kinda looked angry at first, but then she saw the flowers I was holding and she smiled and actually called me charming.

I bet Moony about died from shock, as I had bet him two Galleons that the addition of the daisies to my dashing appearance and brilliant conversation skills would make her collapse in a fluttering heap at my feet.

I tried not to think about Moony too much though, as that would be a mood-killer. And I had not come this far only to have my one chance with the Girl of my Dreams dashed by my best friend's voice in my head saying sternly, "Yes, James, do just that with your tongue and we'll be set."

God, I hate my imagination.

Moving swiftly onward so as to rid myself of that image…

Lily and I set off for the Room of Requirement amidst the expected giggles and whistles and such. She didn't look at me at all as we were walking, but she did brush against me a few times. I think the first time she did it was by accident, but I'm convinced that all the times after that were her way of being coy and messing with me. I say this because the first time I felt her shoulders touch mine and the side of her right hand graze my leg, I lost all feeling…well, everywhere and I stumbled over my feet. She stopped to ask if I was all right, but when I'd regained both the ability to walk and my normal skin tone, I could hear these little sounds coming from her direction. Strangled laughter sounds.

Well, at least she had the decency not to laugh outright.

She complains a lot, Lily. Kept muttering about how if she knew she'd be hiking, she'd've worn different shoes, and casting doubt on my navigational skills and making a point to pull her hair out of her face and fan herself every time I stopped to consult the map because her proximity was making me so nervous that I kept forgetting which way was left and such.

Finally, around the fifth floor, I got so tired of her whinging that I offered to carry her.

She was quiet after that. I felt rather insulted. Am clearly v. manly; I could've carried her the whole way if I wanted to. I may have copped a feel while doing it, but I would've certainly gotten the job done.

We came to the portrait that marks the entrance to the Room (well, kinda—it's on the opposite wall, but that's how you would direct someone who'd never been there—'oh, you know the portrait of the troll ballerinas? It's right there') and I had to explain how to get in. So I took a little risk and leaned in much closer than was necessary and when I did, I heardher suck in this sharp breath.

My proximity was making her nervous.

I was so happy I accidentally let some of my spit sort of slide into her hair, but I think she was trying too hard not to show how my presence affected her to notice. Horrible moment, however, when I realized that that shiny little wet spot on her hair had come from my mouth.

Why is it, I wonder, that all of our encounters end up with my spit in places it has no right to be?

So anyway, we went in, and started eating. She is allergic to raspberries—she is allergic to raspberries; why did no one tell me this?!—so we had Chocolate Frogs instead, and so on.

The end of the night. I'm a bit afraid, thinking she might have poisoned my drink or might be leading me to the Broom Closet of Death…but she didn't. She let me walk her right up to the girls' staircase, and she kissed my cheek, and let me kiss hers—without stabbing me in the stomach when I leaned over.

All in all, it has been brilliant.

I am amazing. I deserve…I dunno, some sort of…prize.

An actual snog, for example.

Monday, 16 February
Approximately...oh, I can't even care what time it is!

SHE SAID SHE'D THINK ABOUT IT!

She's just being coy; she's going to say yes.

"Hi, I'm James, and this is my girlfriend, Lily."

That sounds nice.

Really nice.

I'll ask her again after class.

Right after class.

Right.

Later

Transfiguration

Is she looking over here?

No.

Does she look like she might look over here pretty soon, like she's looking just a little to check to make sure I'm not looking before she looks?

If I understood what the hell you just said, I'm sure the answer would still be no.

Is she writing anything?

Um, I think she's copying the notes.

Padfoot, you look. You're closest to her.

Yes, I am, and I would look, but I'm paralyzed by the fact that I don't care.

Padfoot, look at my future girlfriend. Is she writing love letters to me? Is she writing "Mrs. James Potter" in curly letters with hearts around it? Is she drafting a marriage proposal?

She's not you, Prongs.

I know, but we have such a connection that I feel she and I could have the same doodling habits. Just look, please?

She's not.

She's not? She's not…she's not writing love letters, she's not doing the notes, she's not brushing her teeth, what is she not doing?!

She's not doing anything, in point of fact.

She probably realized that I was looking—or sending you to look—and put away her "I Love James Potter" paper.

Yes, Prongs, I'm sure that's exactly what she did.

Even later

Approximately 1:00 p.m.

Mr. Moony wishes to inquire as to what happened when Mr. Prongs's fellow Marauders made the mistake of leaving him alone with Miss Lily.

Yes, because Mr. Moony hissing instructions into Mr. Prongs's ear is enough to make any girl throw off her clothes and say, "Take me, I'm yours!"

That was really long winded and kinda pointless.

Kinda was, wasn't it?

Anyway, Prongs?

Mr. Prongs declines to comment.

On?

Anything.

Oh, come off it, Prongs! We've been helping you with this girl for, like, six months. She's like our little project as well. We're entitled to hear what happened.

You're not entitled to anything. And she's not a project. She's a person. A very beautiful, intelligent--

She's not here, Prongs.

Yeah, but every time I say or write something pricky, it comes back to bite me in the arse, so I'm not taking any chances.

Yes, James, stop karma before it starts. Spiffing plan.

Whatever. And why'd you call me by my birth-given name?

I am annoyed that you won't just tell us what happened.

Just tell us. We'll find out anyway.

Are you living vicariously through me?

Wormtail and Moony, maybe, but Padfoot has his own social life. A much more successful one, at that. Padfoot knows how to handle his girls.

See, this is why I can't get anywhere with Lily-- I spend too much time with you.

Don't say anything you'll regret on your wedding day, Prongs. Best man, remember?

Padfoot, at the rate you're going, you'll be lucky to be invited to my wedding. You know, on the off chance I'll ever have a wedding.

Oh, shut up, Prongs, you'll have a wedding.

I'm still not telling you.

In that case, you will die a lonely, lonely man with 67 cats.

Later still

Approximately 9:00 p.m., Dormitory

Got my snog.

More later, when I regain feeling in my limbs.

Her lipstick tastes plasticky.

Early Tuesday morning

3:49 a.m., Bathroom

Can't sleep.

Still keep replaying that scene in my head over and over, and I can actually feel her gripping my arm and I can hear her sigh all contentedly when I put my hand in her hair.

She has really nice hair. 'Course, I already knew that, from staring at it for three-some odd years. But it feels really nice, too. Just like I thought it would.

Am still in shock.

Okay, this is how it happened:

I asked her again if she would go out with me. After some obvious deliberation on her part, she said 'no'. Was v. disappointed—and a bit angry—before I realized that, of course, she was lying. And it really wasn't me being arrogant this time!

So I sorta just…kissed her. Kind of.

Well, she looks so pretty when she's lying to me (v. disturbing, actually), and she was holding my hand (I'm still not quite clear on how that happened) and…she kissed back! She did; I was definitely not imagining it this time.

Was lovely. Well, okay, there were less-than-perfect parts, like the thirty or so times she stepped on my toes, gripped my arm so tightly she left little half-moon marks, and kneed me in the shin on accident when we broke apart, but it was still quite nice. All right, and it wasn't just her—her hair got caught on my watch, so when I pulled my hands out of her hair I also pulled out some hair, but she didn't even flinch. I think she was too surprised. I was certainly surprised.

Speaking of pulling away, I did first. Not because I wanted it to end (oh, quite the contrary—I've said 'quite' far too many times, I'm just realizing) but I couldn't breathe and everything was getting hazy in my head and I was sort of going numb, like, everywhere, and I didn't think it would bode well for our relationship for me to pass out as she was kissing me for the first time (I'm thinking that we won't count that time in January, right before Transfiguration. I doubt the proclamation of love on that occasion will count, either).

So…there it is.

I don't know what to do now.

Are we dating?

Will there be snogging on a regular basis?

I'm terrified to go down to breakfast, which I will have to do in about three hours. I'm sure she'll punch me in the face.

Later on Tuesday

2:30 p.m., Herbology

Well, this is Sirius. James is skiving off because he doesn't 'feel up to attending classes at the moment' (read: "I'm scared of Lily Evans, please keep me out of her way until she forgets that I assaulted her tonsils with my tongue or I die, whichever comes first") and I have been ordered to take careful notes on Miss Evans's movements and try to see how they relate to him.

I, of course, am not going to do such a thing.

I shall use this time/space for something much more worthwhile: hangman.

No. No, no, and no.

You are no fun whatsoever.

I don't take pleasure in Peter's pain, so I suppose I'm not any fun by your standards.

And it's high time you started admitting it. Good for you, Moony; progress is clearly being made.

Your kind words have just given me new hope for my future. I could never thank you enough.

So…you don't want me to hurt Peter…

I really would prefer that you didn't.

As would I.

What about you, Moony? You could play me. You always say that you have a vocabulary bigger than four very big things.

No.

It's actually good fun, Moony.

Yes, it is, you tell him, Wormtail.

Peter, the last time you played Hangman with him, he tried to maul you.

Yes, but aside from that, it was quite a lark.

He tried to maul you.

I remember.

You were in the hospital wing for four days!

I'm still making up the homework.

I had to tell Pomfrey you fell on a fork.

I thought it was a great story.

Thirty-six times!

Well, that bit was stretching it a little.

Come on. Play with me, play with me, play with me.

No. Stalk Lily like you promised you would.

I promised nothing.

James is probably sitting in his room counting down the seconds until you get back so you can tell him what Lily's been doing. Can you imagine the look of disappointment on his face when he realizes that you shirked your best friend-ly duties?

1. I fully agree that James is probably awaiting my return, but that is only because he has an unhealthy attachment to me. Do you see the way his face lights up when he sees me?

2. "Best friend-ly duties"? I do believe you just made that up. You're taking liberties with the English language, Moony. And what happens to people who take liberties with the English language, according to you?

They die a painful, fiery death at the hands of the writers of the Oxford dictionary.

Don't change the subject.

I don't think we're the ones changing the subject.

Sirius. James asks so very little of you.

"SO VERY LITTLE"?!!!!!

Please refrain from using multiple exclamation points. You know how much they hurt my eyes.

I felt they were necessary to get my point across.

Your point being?

That James asks so very much of me.

Examples are necessary.

He made me break up with The Lovely Catherine because she bothered him.

Firstly: he didn't "make" you do anything. You broke up with The Lovely Catherine because James's opinion means a lot to you, and you couldn't stand the fact that he didn't like her. Secondly: he didn't like her because she was always coming on to him.

I still say he was making that up. The Lovely Catherine would never sink to the level of the girls who like James.

So Lily is below The Lovely Catherine?

Ah, I wouldn't say that. I'd just say that she's a few Gobstones short of a set.

She's crazy for liking James?

No, she's crazy for thinking there's something wrong with liking James.

I don't get it.

Don't get what?

You just said that The Lovely Catherine wouldn't sink to the level of girls who like James. But then you said that Lily—who obviously likes James—is crazy for doing so, for thinking there's something wrong with it. I don't get it. You're contradicting yourself.

The girls who usually like James like him because he's a bloke they can like, not a bloke they can love. You know? They know they'll never get anywhere with him. They know that, if he does pay attention to them, it won't be for very long. That's what makes them below The Lovely Catherine. The Lovely Catherine is a relationship junkie; she loves that long-term attachment and seeks it with everyone she meets. But Lily thinks that James isn't a good person because of this, because she doesn't realize that his lack of enthusiasm toward the other girls is because of his complete emotional attachment to her. That's what makes her insane. It's all very complicated and boring, actually.

How do you know all that?

James tells me everything, first of all, and second of all, when you spend much of your free time spying on girls, you tend to overhear their conversations.

Interesting.

Wednesday, 18 February

1:00 a.m.

Am Sex God.

Have beautiful, snoggable, cotton candy tasting girlfriend.

Love self. Am equally beautiful and snoggable, though taste less like cotton candy and more like sausage had for dinner.

Oh, that's deeply unpleasant. Poor girlfriend.

Can't care too much.

Have girlfriend. Life is complete. Need nothing else. Could be homeless, smelly, and have horrible toe fungus, and Lily Evans would still be my girlfriend.

Well, maybe not if I had toe fungus.

Perhaps if I had an incapacitating drug habit.

Yes. She would still be my girlfriend if I had an incapacitating drug habit.

Because obviously drugs are more fun than toe fungus.

Monday, 17 February 1976

2:27 p.m., Transfiguration

Things I Like About James Potter

--The way your smile is a little bit bigger on the left side.

--How you always smell like outside. I almost want to say you smell like wind, but wind doesn't really have a smell, does it?

--The way you push your glasses up the bridge of your nose when you're concentrating.

--How much you hate it when I cry. It makes me feel like you'd do anything to make me stop crying.

--How you almost always put your hands in my hair when you kiss me.

--The way you kiss me.

--How your hair never looks the same two days in a row.

--The way there is always something wrong with your clothes: your shirt is misbuttoned or your tie is loose or your shirt is untucked or your socks don't match. Just so you know, today your Head Boy badge is pinned on upside down. Though that may be something one of your friends did; I can't tell.

--The freckles under your eyes.

-- How you correct yourself when you realize you've said something stupid. Or something you think is stupid. And then you get flustered and confused and start talking entirely in fragments.

--How you're not afraid to correct me or question my logic when Isay something stupid (which is never) or something you think is stupid (much more commonplace).

--Your sense of humor. You can make a joke out of anything, you know that? I don't know many people who can do that quite like you can.

--The way you start speaking slower and your voice gets deeper when you're serious. Or flirting with me. Sometimes it's hard to tell the two apart.

--One word: persistence.

--You stand up for what you believe in, and that is an admirable quality.

There are certainly more things, but I simply can't remember them right now because I'm under pressure. Your friends are making a complete joke out of this and it's making me blush, because a lot of what they're saying is quite funny, and you trying to make them shut up is even funnier.

Affectionately,

Lily

Monday, 26 March

5:45 p.m., Dormitory

Note to self: practice taking clothes off with eyes closed.

Tripping over pants and falling into wall is v. unattractive and ruins mood.

Have sizeable bruise on shoulder, stubbed toe, laceration on arm, and ripped pants. Lily laughed. A lot. So much so that, even though had pants off and was wearing best shorts, she could not bring herself to stop laughing long enough to snog me senseless.

Am surly.

Sunday, 1 April

Approximately 8:00 p.m., Dormitory once again

Girlfriend is kleptomaniac.

Am missing half of wardrobe.

Have no clean clothes for tomorrow because she has them all.

She says she likes them because they smell like me, and they fit nice. Which is all well and good—I can understand her wanting to have smell of me close to her all the time, and also, oversized fit of clothes tells everyone she has boyfriend. Also, Mum writes my name on the tags of my clothes, so if some amorous boy decides to try to…I dunno, take advantage of her while she is wearing my clothes, he can read the name on the tag and he'll say, "Oh, you're James Potter's girl? I'm sorry, I didn't realize" and back off.

Because am obviously v. intimidating.

Tuesday, 23 April
9:39 p.m.

Mr. Padfoot is of the opinion that if Mr. Prongs and his girlfriend want to fight within a sixty-mile radius of human life, they should provide earplugs.

Mr. Moony suggests a Soundproofing Charm.

Mr. Padfoot counters with earplugs enchanted with a Soundproofing Charm. Therefore, Mr. Padfoot wins.

Mr. Wormtail wishes to ask how long it's been since the royal couple got together.

Mr. Padfoot says two months. Mr. Prongs is marking it off on Mr. Padfoot's Veelas on the Beach calendar. Did Miss Lily take Mr. Prongs's boxers again? Because if he doesn't want her to have his, she's welcome to some of Mr. Padfoot's.

Mr. Moony thinks Mr. Padfoot should keep his boxers away from Miss Lily.

Keep them away from Mr. Wormtail as well, if we're going to discuss this now.

Oh, Wormtail.

What?

Nothing. That just sounded like it deserved an "Oh, Wormtail".

Hold on, what's she saying?

Mr. Padfoot thinks Miss Lily is breaking up with our friend Prongs again.

How come?

Mr. Wormtail's money says that Miss Lily found the bottle of whipped cream Mr. Padfoot hid under Mr. Prongs's bed two weeks ago.

Hey, Mr. Padfoot put a Preservation Charm on it. It should still be okay.

Does Prongs know you put whipped cream under his bed?

Mr. Padfoot is just trying to help out a friend; Mr. Prongs does not have to thank Mr. Padfoot. Mr. Padfoot would offer whipped cream to his other fellow Marauders, but as they haven't had dates since fifth year, he feels this offer would be a waste of his generosity.

Oh, here they come--they're snogging. Mr. Wormtail is going to bed, as he has a weak stomach.

Mr. Moony agrees.

Mr. Padfoot wonders if there is any whipped cream left.

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A/N: Ah, the end of one story. I do not know when "TDA" will be finished, as it is currently being v. mean to me. But I can promise that I am working on it.

I hope you liked this story, because I did…a lot. It was a joy to work on, really.

And you are all joyous as well!!!! 484 favorites listers, 246 reviews…for this little thing. I love you all. Really. You make me laugh and there's really nothing like seeing a whole list of people who like what you do.

And I'd like to thank you all individually……

Pixie Wildfire, babeephatangel, FrostQueen4eva, Christy Corr, tta (I assure you, if I ever finish "TDA", you will have plenty to read…all I'll say on the subject. Probably), girlknight, lizziee (I write how I talk, but I have no clue if I'm funny in person. Ask my friends), Lunawolf (men are insane. But women are equally so, just in different ways), little-angel123452000, ThouandI, snickerdoodle10201, Lily Thorne, Cacrocks1 (I hope James's triumph is satisfactory), Marauders Chick (have you ever read a book called "Frindle"? In it, this guy starts calling a pen a 'frindle', and eventually the frindle fervor reaches the point where the word is actually added to the dictionary. I think we could do that with 'quotiness', my friend), Bananas and Talon (I do believe vodka is made of potatoes. I read it somewhere, or saw it on TV or something. I don't know how I know this stuff), MissMrprk (oh, I'm sorry if I brought you to tears), Leap of fate (oh, the spit thing wasn't endearing to you? ;), martian doll (multiple awesomes! It's my favorite word, or at least the one I use most often. Actually, my favorite word is 'squiffy', for reasons unbeknownst to me ;), HarrysPotter (thank you very much for the originality compliment), R/Hr Fan (I am equally hopeful for a "TDA" update. I have 10 pages, I wrote out an outline, but I really don't like how it's going), Princess Pixie Ice, Anna N. O'Muss (the broom cupboard thing did prove quite popular; I'm glad you liked it. I never know what you lot will respond to), Senna2 (the 'you write guys really well' comment is always my favorite to hear, so thank you for it), flossie1 (I hope your brother's computer is well, and that it hasn't been thrown at you :), Luna-Elentari, Kat44 (that is my favorite kind of math, the reviews ;), walkingcensure, cilverblood (I have noticed that the Pricky!James-es of the fanfic world are either just horribly mean or flat and kinda boring and unfunny. I'm happy you see me as an exception), Mafioso (oh, thank you!), KClover319 (::blush::), Grimm Sister (I'm sorry, I don't make you wait long on purpose :), clothespeg-rules, Cho Ch, Pineapple Queen1 (love SQ and shiver at the thought of being lumped amongst their greatness. If I were to even think of submitting any of this to that site, though, it would have to go under some serious renovation), Irish Silhouette (I'm…really not that interesting in real life. I don't know why people want to meet me so much), Christa (did he really seem confident? Wow, I screwed that one up brilliantly. I had no direction when I wrote that story, really), Quack Quack 88 (oh, thank you!), Windowseat Wonderer, SnoopyViz, draca8u, Briana Marie, erin (I am sorry it took so long. School, lack of inspiration, etc. are to blame), siriusforeva, Anonymous miss, Pingu (I'm sorry you were depressed, but glad to have done something to make you feel better :), ObsessiveBookworm (rambling is normal. I thank you for your faith in my future :), and theromaniqueoddball.