I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
The terrible thing about summertime is that you have more than enough idle hours to remember the school year and to mentally whip yourself for the things you did wrong or the things you should have said. September through May there isn't enough time for me to think much, which is the thing that is largely responsible for my disgruntled and highly unforgivable behavior most of the time. Still, even though not thinking is what gets me into trouble (or, to be fair, more often it's that I only half think things through, which is if anything quite worse)… Still, even though that sort of thing is why I'm writing this stupid piece in the first place, I still prefer being mindless to the agony of amazing clarity. If this is June, then I guess what I'm experiencing can only be described as June gloom.
And to think, fifth year at Hogwarts started out so smashingly well. There were deceptive smiles and sidewise glances and a thousand things that screamed out the strength in being alive. It felt like an idyllic time—that year, we were going to win the Quidditch cup. We were going to complete the Marauder's Map, become Animagi in support of Remus's lycanthropy, score amazingly on the O.W.L.'s, and I was going to be a Prefect Mage. It was just like heaven. Mum and Dad made me swear on Merlin to watch over Melissa—it was her first year at school and I was all cut out to play the role of protective big brother. And I was going to see Lily again. She was rapidly becoming the very best of my friends. A thousand words couldn't have began to describe my feelings about her. I was crazily excited when I learned she'd become a Prefect too. We did our duties together and I hugged her so tightly our first night back, I thought I might break her. I never wanted to let her go.
Things went crazy not soon after the year started however and I was left, quite honestly, aghast. I was made Quidditch team captain. Lily was commissioned by Sirius and Remus to emblazon the Marauder's Map in our minds. And I also got into the hugest fist fight of my life with Lucius Malfoy, that dick, because he got jealous of my friendship with Lily and insisted we fight for her. Sadly, he beat my ass. I've never been much of a fighter, but he didn't fight fair anyway. I got over that. The only high point in getting the crap knocked out of me was waking up in a hospital bed with Lily snuggled calmly and protectively into my side. I'd have gladly gotten run over by a motorbike a thousand times just to repeat the experience. While she slept I kissed her face, I kissed her head. I wondered again and again if I was developing feelings for her—the redhead with the dreamy eyes and formidable vocabulary that I'd grown to know so well.
Halloween night things with my relationship with her took a lurching turn. We were studying quite normally in the common room, ignorant to the silence that surrounded us. Silences are always comfortable with Lily; she's awfully companionable like that. Companionable isn't even the word to describe her. She's addicting; anyone, even the dullest person on the planet, could live vicariously through her passion and sweetness. But while we were sitting there I felt the intense compulsion to break that golden strand of quietness; I needed to hear her soft, melodic voice. I asked her about Paradise Lost—even I'd lose track of paradise staring into her emerald eyes.
She asked me if I was a good dancer. I wanted to appear magnificent; of course I said yes. I told her I'd prove it—I asked her to dance. We didn't have any music so she sang in my ear. I looked at her and breathed in her scent, a soft vanilla mixed with sunshine and fresh laundry, and admired the glow in her eyes and the blush in her cheeks. Everything about Lily is golden and rose. She glows like a firefly only a thousand times more beautiful. And when she smiles, and she smiled as she sang, I see and saw a secret, a secret shining light. It burns through her like wildfire and sets her tenderly above all the rest. I wanted so badly a single kiss, to taste the sweet sincerity that clumsily spilled from her perfect red lips. I wanted to kiss the song into reality and again, I had that funny impulse to never let her go. My arms around her felt like they'd found their new home—like they'd never been fully arms until they rested around her waist.
Lily moved closer to whisper the entrancing song in my ear. We swayed cheek to cheek, chest to chest, and I became intoxicated with her overpowering authenticity. She made me feel like I was free for the very first time. But then, my heart collapsed around me as I realized a single, hateful fact: she was my best friend and therefore, I could never be with her. I wasn't meant to be with her. Everything I felt was only an eccentric extension of a desire for something I couldn't have. Many times I'd thought I could love her, but now I knew that I already did. She was my best friend. To have a romance would be to kill her innocence and the purity of our simple friendship. I could not ruin it, not to save the world. The deepest, most profound sadness I had ever known filled me up and threatened to burst its way forth through my eyes.
And I couldn't let Lily see me cry. I jerked away from her and ran away, ran away to find her a copy of Paradise Lost. I could never have the paradise that was her—her essence, her soul. I vied in vain. How could she ever be in love with someone as imperfect and as persistently bored and therefore boring as I was? It was an impossibility. So soft, so pure… I ached inside. I ached everywhere. So I ran away from idyllic for the first time and promised myself never again.
But she was so beautiful.
I took her sliding down banisters with me. I wanted to show her the world; I wanted to show her my passions and share with her my dreams. She was the only person who could connect to me like she was meant to be my second half. She sat in my lap and she screamed and laughed, and I held onto her with arms I hoped were strong enough to contain her vividness. She was glowing. I had made her glow.
I also earned her a detention—her first and my 900th. I felt inwardly disgusted with myself for this. Yes, I'd made her glow, but I'd also stolen away a part of her perfection. Perhaps I held her at too high of a standard, but it felt like with every second I gave into my dream of being close to her, the more I sucked from her wonderfulness. I was crumbling her world; she had been so deliriously happy before me. She was popular. She had gambling nights, Lucius Malfoy, and the adoration of the masses. I was addicted to this—I needed her desperately, overpoweringly, forever. But what would I choose? To indulge myself and exist in bliss, all the while stealing the sparkle right out of her eyes? Or to let her keep her sensitive, probing, deep self as she was and remain forever miserable? To be obsessed with someone is a funny thing; I put her interests before my own. It was the first thing I ever did—my first step towards manhood.
How could I steal such raging serenity?
But then, again, I fucked up. I brought her home again with me for Christmas. I got her under the mistletoe. My lips brushed her cheek and all the world was aglow with my affection for her. She caroled for me and my heart sank and rose with every note; I hung with baited breath, waiting for her to start or stop, move or weep. I wanted to take her into my arms and kiss her until I had to gasp for air. I gave her a friendship ring and put it on her beautiful, pale little finger. Someday I wanted to slip a diamond on that finger. Someday, I knew I wanted to marry her. I wanted to hold her hand for all of eternity. I wanted to grasp her and hold her gently; I wanted to spin her around and make that secret, shining light burst right on out of her. I wanted her to promise to be my one, my only, my beautiful blushing bride. She gave me her childhood diaries. She fed my obsession. She fed my craving for a deeper relationship with her; could she never know how deeply I already felt?
A thousand times I wanted to scream, "You know, you're not making this easy!"
I invented for myself a crush on her best friend, Arabella. If I couldn't think of Lily, I could at least think of the closest and dearest thing to Lily's heart. Arabella was a friend too; why not? But I couldn't bring myself to fling these bitter lies in Lily's face. I couldn't tell her I liked her friend. I mean, it didn't matter. Liking someone was nothing compared to what I felt for Lily. Her, I loved.
I decided I'd have to help her to realize how amazing she was and how terrible it was to spend time with me. I had to save her. I had to save her before… before, I didn't know what, but something bad. Before she fell in love with me too? I tried desperately to replace my obsession with her with an obsession of preventing her from gaining feelings for me. Who was I kidding? She'd never like me anyway, but I knew I still had to do this. I had to do it to punish myself. One last little masochistic kick before I lost her altogether. At least I'd always have her friendship.
What had happened to me? Had I fallen in love? I became terrified of the very thought.
I lived in her diaries. I read them until I'd made the pages soft, thin, and worn out. Yet another example of how I'd dirtied and stained her. Now even her childhood, or the only record she had of it anyway, had been compromised by my love for her. Poor Lily. Poor amazing, beautiful, entrancing Lily. I was ruining her.
I encouraged her to go out and have fun instead of spending the vast majority of her free time studying with me. I even made an effort to follow my own advice; I turned to Sirius, Remus and Peter to distract me. But then, Lily spending more time with Arabella turned into a disaster. She put a streak of blonde in her hair, which if anything only enhanced her beauty. Under Arabella's influence and grace, Lily thrived and sparkled, and that killed me. She was a glittering pool of acid I wanted so badly to dive into and emerge myself in completely. I breathed her beauty out through meaningless words; I babbled, I froze.
There were so many setbacks. I had to touch her, I had to be with her. It was completely unavoidable—I was too far in. I waltzed with her from class to class, thinking ain't love grand? I encouraged Lily not to think, just to laugh. Selfishly, that was more for my benefit than hers. If she could only know captivated by her laugh I was…
The girl left me bedazzled, mesmerized. Nothing mattered anymore besides Lily Evan's sparkle and shine.
I had to fight it. I could not, would not, ruin her. People as plain and as bare as me are poison to romantics—romantics like Lily. How could I sap from her the very thing I loved so much about her? I brought in reinforcements. I encouraged Remus and Sirius to practically stalk us, just so I could avoid being alone with her. She attempted time and time again to thwart my plans. She seemed to want to be with me. She seemed to want to drive me crazy with her laugh, her smile, her mystery. I adored everything about her.
Could it have been that she adored me too? I would not let that happen. I dropped hints all the time. I stifled her from connecting to me in the way I yearned for her to. But still, there were so many things I couldn't control. Could I help holding her hand when I took her to the kitchens? Could I help bringing her out of the castle to be drenched by the rain? I was inebriated—I can't be held accountable. Her passion dripped from her soul like the rain dripped from her glistening, soaked body. I wanted to kiss her more than ever. I wanted to pick her up and spin around; I wanted to let her fly.
And then, before I knew it, I had gone too far.
She cornered me. I was attacked. It was never meant to happen; it just did. She said she liked me. She said she had feelings for me. I blanched. I wanted to die. I'd failed her in the worst way possible. There she sat, selling herself to me, ignorant of the damage I did to her and her dazzling brilliance. There were so many emotions—imminent love, trust, happiness… but one I held far above the rest: disgust. She'd thwarted my plans. Everything was shit. I was dying inside because I'd gotten exactly what I'd always wanted. My dirty little wish had come true.
She kissed me on the cheek and I wanted to be obliterated by something large, fearsome, and nasty.
I could not let her make this terrible mistake. I played the Arabella card. I acted cold. I put on my very best acting face and professed no interest in her whatsoever. I watched her face and I saw the light inside of her go out. She was like a candle that had suddenly flickered and died. Her glow was gone and I had killed it. I felt miserable inside. The unfairness of it all burst out of me. I got mad. I got angry, I yelled. I wanted to scream the stars out of her eyes. I wanted to die.
My princess, my love, my one and only ran away from me. And a part of me did die. I wasn't whole anymore.
I learned she'd gone to Sirius immediately after talking to me. My best friend. She'd turned to him after what I'd done to her. It made sense. Before, she'd simply been confused. She hadn't liked me. That was stupid. How could someone so amazing ever even entertain the thought of liking me? Stupid me, Quidditch boy extraordinaire—what did I know? I only knew I loved Lily. I loved her amazingly, passionately. I'd never felt this way before in my life and knew I never would again. That's why it hurt when she went to Sirius. That's why I closed myself off entirely.
It felt like I'd been struck. She'd probably liked him all along and to begin with. It figured. Part of me was really truly glad. The other, larger part of me felt sick. And then, just like that, I had been struck. Apparently, by playing the Arabella card on Lily to save her, I'd also ruined my friendship with Aria herself in the process. That only made me feel worse. What had I done?
Then, Lily swam with Remus in the lake. I was sick with jealousy. Remus was one of my best friends, but he had spent time with my Lily. Had she enjoyed it? I was consumed with hatred for everything. I turned to her diaries—the only part of her I spoke to now. My plan had worked quite well after all. In fact, we weren't even friends anymore. I'd done the biggest, manliest thing I could for her. I'd let her go.
She'd been a caged butterfly before, but no more. Now she was back in the wild, where she belonged.
And she looked happy. Her glow, the one I'd killed, had been resurrected. She laughed again. She was lit up once more. And I marveled. How could anyone be so pretty? Looking at her, I felt like I'd found God.
I stopped talking to her too. I gave Lily all the space she needed, and knew she'd secretly craved all along. What in the world had possessed me to become so close with such a wild, gorgeous creature? Had I really been so cocky to think that I was in any way cool enough for her? The shame in it all made my cheeks burn crimson.
Right before school ended, she tore me to shreds. I'd devoted myself again to Quidditch; for once that year, I was acting like a true captain. After a pivotal practice she approached me. She trapped me like she had the Valentine's Day she'd ruined everything—ruined my plan, ruined everything between us. The horrible aspects of it all ripped me up. And in our conversation, I made one last mistake. I admitted to her what I'd sworn I never would: my passion for her, and my fear of loving her. She said she wanted to be friends. Friends…? With her? No, things would only go just as badly this time around, if not worse. Of course I couldn't be friends with her. I'd forsaken idyllic. She was mine no more.
Again, I was forced to make the most tragic decision of my young life. I pushed her away one final time and swallowed all the screams inside and shoved them back down into the abyss they'd come from. I burned a hole straight through my heart. I missed her to death, but I said the coldest things I could think of to her. I called her a whore and broke my own heart in the process.
It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Lily was basically back together with Lucius Malfoy at that point anyway. I'd lost hold of her. Lost my sway. Or maybe it was just the opposite—maybe she'd lost her sway over me? Did I even love her anymore?
Yes, yes, yes! Every molecule of my existence screamed. I ignored them. Shut up, I told them. Shut up, I whispered.
It was all for the best. It would all work out. I was doing her a favor.
She was unquestionably idyllic, and I was unquestionably shit.
It's summer now and I spend every day thinking about the mistakes I made and the things I should have said to her. Lily's at home now, probably having a grand old time. Maybe she's with Lucius. I don't know. I sit here, bitter. I sit here and I know I'm alone. But what can I say? I wanted this. It was my ultimate goal and I brought it upon myself.
She's got such power over me, even still, and now such a rage inside her that she could demolish all the words I've just here written with a single, withering glance. I hope she hates me. I deserve to be hated. I always have; she just didn't see it.
I loved her and I always will.
Unquestionably idyllic is unquestionably shit.
[Author's Note: This was just a one shot piece from James Potter's POV of the fifth year in Deconstruct, A Memoir. People have asked for it—so here you have it! I hope it cleared up a few things. :) Love you all so much!! –Dede.]