Another story- probably my favorite story to date. It's based on "Foolish Games" by Jewel, but it doesn't matter if you know the song or like the song or not... it's still a good read, I think. Right, remember to review, and enjoy!



        You took your coat off and stood in the rain,
        You're always crazy like that.

When he changed, he changed. Not just a little change, like how he treated the first years, or how he ruffled or didn't ruffle his hair. He changed a lot.

I suppose it's my fault. I was the one who wanted him to change, I was the one who 'hated' him, the one he died and was reborn for. Isn't that a little dramatic, you think? He died and was reborn for me? It's true, because he certainly isn't the same person he was before. Not by any stretch of the mind, any stretch of the heart.

I know what they're thinking every time they see us together- what his friends think whenever we pass them. Are you happy? Are you happy with what you did to him, with what he became for you? Are you happy that he became a stranger to us, all for you? As horrible as it is, I'm not. I miss the old person he was, the funny and charismatic boy he used to be. Merlin, do I hate irony.

He was a prat. He was kind of stuck up, rather full of himself, and absolutely over-flowing with confidence. That's not really a good thing, any of it, but it became him. He looked good, acting like that. He was successful. And everyone liked him. Not everyone, you might comment- not everyone. You didn't. But... well, yes, it was everyone. Even I liked him. I may have abused him, and acted like I hated him, but that's all it was- acting. Because how could you not like him?

And best of all- out of all this- he cared for me. He loved me. He pursued me endlessly. Now, I don't care who it is that's chasing you- you're flattered by it. Someone is interested in you enough to want you, to devote time and effort to chasing you. So, naturally, I was flattered. I don't know what I would have done, had he stopped. But I convinced myself I hated him, that I wouldn't want to be any more to him than the elusive girl. So I was elusive, and I never let him catch me. So he decided to change.

This is a good thing, I told myself. And it was. He was sweet, not arrogant. He was a gentleman, not a pompous jerk. He was thoughtful, not violent. It was great, really. So what could I say, after he'd clearly demonstrated, under every pressure, that this was the person he'd become, and that he wouldn't revert back to his old self? I could say nothing but yes. And I was happy to, really. What more could a girl ask for?

A lot, it seems. Or, at least, I could ask for more. He was thoughtful and artistic, yes. He became interested in the things that interested me, in the people I liked. We could have conversations about art, the impressionists, the Renaissance masters. We could talk about the intricacies, the beauties of Baroque music. We could speak of the genius of Mozart, and analyze his music. It was quite amazing, actually.

Except he'd studied it to impress me, to become what I wanted. He quickly outstripped my knowledge, and our conversations became lectures. He would talk endlessly about art, the Impressionists, the Renaissance masters. He would lecture on the intricacies, the beauty of Baroque music, while I nodded silently. He could tell me all about the genius of Mozart and how he'd spent hours analyzing his work. And I didn't have a thing to say in response. Conversations don't work that way. Relationships don't work that way. Yet he'd changed, he'd become this for me.

He gave up so much for me. He gave up his Quidditch obsession- he spent less and less time on the pitch, spent less time talking about it, because of me. He gave up his quirks, his unusual habits, to be more like what I wanted. He used to- and this always got me- he used to stand outside in the rain, no coat, no umbrella, no nothing. Just because he liked the rain, the feeling it gave. I used to love that about him. I never said anything- I mean, what do you say? Walk up to someone and say "hey, I love how you stand outside in the rain"? You don't say that.

Last time it rained, we were outside together. He summoned an umbrella.

Worst of all, he's not funny any more. He doesn't make jokes, he doesn't play pranks, he doesn't hang out with his friends. He doesn't sneak out after hours, he doesn't make illegal trips to Hogsmeade, he doesn't sneak into the kitchens, he doesn't go to the Astronomy tower for snogging sessions. What have I created?

He used to wear his tie unknotted, slung around his neck, until a professor caught him and ordered him to tie it. He used to ruffle his hair so that it stood on end, all wind-blown and feathery. He used to gaze at me, his eyes penetrating so deep into my eyes that I would have to look away, and he wouldn't stop until I yelled at him or walked away. He used to bring back Butterbeer from the kitchens for the common room, always making sure I got one, whether I was there or not, whether I wanted one or not. He used to give his cloak to someone else (usually me) when it was raining, because he had no use for it.

Now he always wears his tie knotted, and I don't think I've seen it loose in months. Now he gels his hair so that it lies flat on his head, never to be disturbed by the wind again. Now he looks at me for no more than a few seconds before looking away. Now he doesn't bring Butterbeer from the kitchens, and if there is any, he asks if I want one, and never saves me one if I'm not there. Now he always keeps his cloak if it's raining.

Why does he do these things? He thinks I like it better this way. He thinks I like the new him better than the old, that I like his hair flat, that I like his tie knotted, that I don't like his gaze, that I don't like him sneaking to the kitchens, that I want to get my own Butterbeer, that I want him to hate the rain. I don't. I don't.

Some things are better. He's not cruel, he doesn't taunt the Slytherins, he doesn't pick fights, he doesn't lose house points, he doesn't get in trouble, he doesn't call me Evans. But those are such a small price to pay for such a unique, funny individual. Those are small annoyances in such a creative and attractive, confident boy. I miss that boy. And I haven't laughed in so long.

It rained today. He summoned an umbrella. I stepped out from beneath it. He didn't understand, he said- why was I getting wet when I could stay dry? I just couldn't take it any more- you used to, I said. You used to stand in the rain, without an umbrella, without a coat, just to enjoy the rain. He didn't know what to say to that. So he gave me the usual excuse. I changed. Yeah, well, I replied, I miss the old James. And I left. I walked away from him for the first time in months. For the first time since he changed.

He always followed me. I'd get mad at him, he'd follow me, annoy me further, never leave me alone. I hated it. He didn't follow me this time. I hated that even more.

I didn't see him until the next morning. He was late to class- he used to always be late. Now he's never late. He was late this time. His tie was undone, slung around his neck. Professor McGonagall told him to tie it. He did. His hair was standing on end, feathery and wind-blown. He ran a hand through it. Halfway through class, someone's wand exploded. Sirius and James grinned at each other, and lost house points. He cursed a Slytherin, who had feathers and a beak for the rest of the day. He earned a detention. It was still raining. He took off his coat and gave it to a sixth year Ravenclaw. And he stood in the rain until he was almost late for class.

He threw his arm around me in the hallway, grinning with worried eyes. Want to sneak into Hogsmeade? he asked. I said no, that the house had already lost enough points for the day. And I walked away. He followed. He caught my arm, grin gone, and asked what I wanted him to do. What he could do to make me happy. I shook my head. Just be yourself, I told him. And I walked away again. He paused. I was nearly around the corner by the time he caught up with me. Want to go to the kitchens? he asked, arm around my shoulders again. Sure, I replied. He grinned, and ran a hand through his hair. Don't do that, I said. It looks better if you leave it. He nodded, surprised. Can I run my hand through your hair, then? he asked. I laughed. If you must, I replied. And he did. Did you see that wand explode in Transfiguration today? he asked. I nodded. He grinned. That was fantastic, he said. I smiled. It was pretty funny.

We were outside that night when it began to rain. He took off his cloak and gave it to me. You'll catch a cold, I told him. He shrugged, sticking his hands in his pockets as I cowered under his cloak. Better me than you, he pointed out. Then he looked up at the sky and grinned, squinting as the rain bounced off his glasses and into his eyes. We walked like that for a few minutes before I pulled him under the cloak with me, me still dry while he was dripping and soaked. I kissed him, and he grinned wider. You're wet, I told him. So are you, he replied. No, I'm not, I argued, confused. He hugged me. Now you are, he retorted, laughing. I laughed, and he put an arm around my shoulders. Are you happy? he asked. Are you? I replied. He nodded, peering out at the rain. Yes. Then he looked back at me. Are you? he questioned, gazing into my eyes so deeply I thought I was going to drown. Yes, I replied, and he grinned, not looking away. Good.

And we walked back to the castle, the rain pouring around us and seeping through his cloak, and it was all I could have asked for. I told him so. He looked happy. We reached the front steps, and he stopped. Go ahead, he encouraged, and I went under the overhang. He stood in the rain, just in his robes and uniform, face angled up at the sky, his eyes closed, grinning.