Summary: In a slightly more mature rendition of how Lily and James came to be, we that fate always seems to have way of bringing two people together. As children they were the best of friends - that is, until his family moved away, never to be heard from or seen again. With nothing to remember him by but a heart shaped necklace, Lily didn't even in her wildest dreams think that she would meet him again in her final year at Hogwarts. A bit of a tear-jerker ending, which I'm sure all you hopeless romantics out there will love.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Claimer: This fanfiction is a work entirely my own (with the exception of the disclaimers listed above) and no part of it may be used without permission. If you are looking to archive this fic in your own collection, contact me (my email is in my profile).
A/N: I wrote this story in the year 2000 or perhaps 2001, under the title of "Lily and James Forever." However, upon re-reading it, I saw that it lacked detail and proper story structure - and so I decided to write it over. This new fic has a different title, different content and a different ending, so even if you've read "Lily and James Forever" make sure you read this because you won't be disappointed. g I'd love to hear your feedback, whether good or bad, so make sure you review.
A L o v e I m m o r t a l
[ Agent Bambi ]
Melodious cries of laughter rang out through the garden. Glorious, golden sunlight streamed from the endless blue sky. Heavenly white clouds passed high over the sunlit land like balls of cotton; it was one of those lazy, summer days that as a child, had you sprawled out on the grass, seeing what shapes you could make out from the clouds above. Sweetly intoxicating fragrances floated idly in the breeze, but like poison, they settled into your lungs and filled your very being to the brim, leaving you feeling pleasantly lightheaded.
Standing on the porch at the back of the Potter's house would have provided you an excellent view of the garden. A pair of five-year-old children seemed to be, upon first glance, aimlessly circling the garden. Upon closer inspection, however, you could see that the two children were playing some sort of game; the older of the two, a boy called James, was chasing his little friend, Lily, who was squealing passionately as she hurried to get away.
When he finally caught up with her, he seized her by the arm so she couldn't get away. She squealed again in surprise as his hand came into contact with her arm and she struggled to loosen his grip. "Let me go! Let me go!"
"Okay," said James. "I'll let you go. But you're not allowed to run away again, all right?" Lily nodded emphatically and he let go of her arm. "Do you want to play hide and seek?"
"Yep, but I'm hiding first!"
"I wanna hide first! You always hide first -" James began to complain.
Lily interrupted and looked at him seriously. "Do you want me to run away again, James?"
"Oh, all right, all right," James huffed reluctantly. Feet dragging in the grass he made his way to the back wall of the house. "You've got twenty seconds. One, two, three..."
Lily looked around, searching for a hiding place. Her initial idea was to hide behind the big oak tree, but he would surely guess that and find her straight away, so she opted for the less obvious bush at the back of the garden. Lily skipped towards the bush and carefully got behind it, so as to not scratch herself as she disappeared behind it. She crouched down as low as she could, so she was well-covered. It wouldn't do for her head to be poking out, because her vibrant red hair would hardly be camouflaged by the green and brown of the bush.
She could still hear James counting. "...ten, twelve, thirteen..." She held back a giggle at the fact that he had forgotten about 'eleven' in fear of being heard.
"...eighteen, nineteen, TWENTY!" James yelled the last word. "Ready or not, Lily, I'm coming to find you!"
As she had suspected, James immediately ran towards the large ancient oak tree, then the side of the house, underneath the picnic table...Lily was quickly growing bored. Her legs were feeling cramped and there was something tickling the hairs on her arm. Suppressing the urge to reach out her hand and itch at it, she desperately hoped it wasn't a bug or anything of the sort, because more than anything in the world she hated bugs. Yuk, she thought with a shudder. This was a mistake. The leaves of the bush rustled, and Lily could see James through the bush, standing in the middle of the garden, waiting for her to make a wrong move. Upon hearing the crackling of the leaves, he ran towards the bush, chanting, "I know where you're hiding! You're behind the bush, aren't you Lily!"
Though she doubted it was a coincidence that James had leaped to her hiding spot as soon as she accidentally rustled the leaves, Lily wasn't going to fall for any tricks. So she held her breath, not daring to move, until James came around to the back of the bush and poked her in the back. "I've found you, I've found you!" he called joyously. "You can't hide from me! I always find you!"Lily screwed up her face. "Yeah, well, it took you long enough, didn't it?" she said smugly.
"Well, I found you and that's what counts!" James said, beginning to raise his voice.
At that moment James's mum came through the back door. "Children, I've got something for you," she called, putting an end to their bickering. Lily and James took one look at each other and races as fast as they could to where Mrs. Potter was standing. James arrived only a second before Lily, and both the children stood breathless in front of Mrs. Potter.
"What've you got, Mrs. Potter?"
"Presents!" said James's mum, holding up two identical packages. She handed one to each of the children and watched as they tore off the wrapping paper greedily. They let the wrapping paper fall to the ground and Mrs. Potter bent to pick it up.
"What've you got, Lily? I've got a necklace."
"So have I. Thanks Mrs. Potter," Lily said sweetly.
"What are they for, mum?"
Now Mrs. Potter looked rather unhappy. "Well, James, daddy got a new job, so we're moving houses. The necklaces are to be a memory of your and Lily's friendship, so you don't forget about each other. Look, if you put them together -" James's mum took both the necklaces into her hand and put them next to each other. They formed a perfect little heart, with the words 'Lily and James Forever', embossed into it. When separated, they looked like pieces of a broken heart, and the words didn't make any sense.
"Won't I ever see Lily again?" James asked sadly, taking back his half of the necklace. Unknowingly, he had taken the part with his own name on it, so years later he would not be able to make sense of it.
"I'm sure you will, James, if fate has its way."
Lily was now well into her seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was one of the smartest witches in her year, and Head Girl to boot. She loved to study and spent most of her free time burrowed into books. She didn't really have any friends - well, she supposed she had friends, but they weren't the sort of friends that would look out for you if you were in trouble or anything. Just acquaintances, and barely that sometimes. Walking down the Charms corridor alone, enviously listening to the excited chatter of students making plans for the End of Year Ball made Lily feel so, well, alone. Lost in her own thoughts and not watching where she was going, she collided head on with another girl, and her books spilled to the floor. Not pausing to apologize, let a lone help pick up Lily's fallen school books, the girl continued down the hall.
As Lily bent down slowly to pick up her books, her eyes welled up with tears. I won't cry, she thought to herself. I won't ever let them see me cry. But a tear was already well on its way sliding down her nose and she wiped it away angrily, scolding herself for being so sensitive. So what if the girl didn't stop to help her? Maybe she had something else on her mind, or had somewhere important to be; it wasn't up to Lily to judge her. But deep down, she knew. She knew that the girl had ignored her, like all the others. Wiping away another tear, Lily tried to reassure herself. It's not me that's worthless, it's them. They're worthless and pathetic; they have no place in making me feel like I'm nothing.
Suffice to say, Lily was anything but popular. Unpopular was just an understatement; she was completely invisible to everyone, minus the teachers, but they hardly counted. They constantly showered Lily with praise fore her outstanding academic performance, which was nice, though little comfort. She knew those marks were just a result of endless study-sessions alone in the Library - she probably wasn't even smart, she thought self-pityingly. But at least hard work had gotten her somewhere, because she'd sacrificed a lot for it - over the years she had become an antisocial bookworm, avoiding all social events, friends...boyfriends. Well, I suppose it's not a sacrifice if you don't have it in the first place, Lily thought ironically. Because in truth, these things had avoided her, not the other way around. It wasn't that Lily wasn't interested - she had been, at first - but then she had realized how pointless it was to swoon over some boys that would never notice her anyway, when she could be using that precious time for study.
But, sometimes, despite trying to convince yourself that it's pointless, you fall in love. Lily's latest crush was James Potter. Well, latest, she supposed, in the way that he was the same guy she had ached over for three years. She was over a hundred percent certain that she had absolutely no chance with him; he was the most lusted-after guy in Hogwarts. He could have any girl he wants, so why would he take Lily, who blended in with the wall paper, despite her flamboyant red hair. It was easy to see why Lily was not the only girl that had a crush on him. Captain and Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, he had led them to three consecutive victories of the Quidditch Cup. In three words, he was tall, dark and handsome.
But that wasn't why Lily liked him - well, not the only reasons. He was the only boy who had ever noticed her in all her seven years at Hogwarts. She remembered it like it had been yesterday. She had been walking down the corridor on her way to the library, carrying a tottering pile of books, when she had bumped into him. Her books had fallen to the floor as if in slow motion, and Lily had looked up to see James Potter looking down at her apologetically. "I'm so sorry," he had said, smiling sheepishly, "I wasn't watching where I was going. Here - I'll help you with your books." And just like that, he had bent down to help her pick them up. His hand had brushed hers as they reached for the same book, and Lily snapped hers back as if she had been electrocuted. Her stomach had done wild flip-flops as she had looked up into his face, which had been mostly covered with his shaggy black hair because he was bending down. She had thanked him, absorbing the warmth in his dark brown eyes. And, bidding her farewell, he had gone, leaving her standing in the middle of the corridor, a huge smile on her face, and a warm feeling spreading out through her body.
Of course, that had been three years ago.
Lily snapped out of her reverie as the bell rang, signaling that she had to be at her next class. She was going to be late. She was never late! Cursing herself for her carelessness and irresponsibility, Lily rushed towards the Transfiguration classroom. She hoped against hope that Professor McGonagall hadn't arrived yet, because she had been doing so well so far - she had never once received a detention. Please let this be my lucky day!
But, as it turned out, it was not her lucky day. Or so it seemed to Lily at the time, though later she would rejoice this day. Coming through the door of the classroom, she was met with the stern glance of Professor McGonagall. "Lily," she said in a disappointed tone, "I would have expected better of you. Please sit down, and you will receive your detention slip after class."
Bowing her head in shame, Lily made her way to the only empty seat at the back of the room. Settling down, she was pleased to find that she had a nice clear view of James. At least, a nice clear view of the back of his head. But that didn't matter. She entertained herself while Professor McGonagall droned on about an assignment that was due soon (she had already completed it) by staring at the back of his head and imagining what it would be like to run her hands through the thick messy mop that was James Potter's hair.
The class was nearing the end, when Professor McGonagall emitted a sharp cry and clutched the back of her head. Immediately, she turned to a boy named Sirius Black, who coincidentally happened to be one of James's best friends. "Black..." she started in an accusing tone.
"Yes, Professor?" he asked, gray eyes wide with innocence, though Lily knew better. James and his friends were infamous for their pranks and jokes and general mischief making. Anyway, she had just seen Sirius rolling up a ball of paper, which was now gone.
Glaring at him, the Transfigurations teacher began, "Did you - did you just throw a ball of paper at my head?" She tried so very hard to look dignified but there was a little ball of paper caught up in the bun on the top of her head, and Lily stifled a laugh.
"No, Professor!" Sirius said in a scandalized tone. "I would never - that's more the kind of thing James would do, you know how he is."
"It wasn't me," James said, at length, looking up from something he had been writing.
Taking his pause as a sign of guilt, Professor McGonagall told him, "Right then, Potter, you will get your detention slip-" the bell rang, signaling the end of class - "now. Miss Evans, if you would also come up here to collect your detention slip," she said, as the rest of the class ambled towards the door and poured out into the corridor.
Lily walked behind James as she strutted up to Professor McGonagall. Lily was surprised to see he made no attempt at correcting her in that it had really been Sirius who had thrown the paper ball at her. If it had been her in that position - well, she supposed it was different when you had good friends.
Professor McGonagall handed them both their detention slips. "You will both be doing detention together, so report Mr. Filch in the Trophy room straight after dinner. Don't be late. James, I'm sure you know only too well that Mr. Filch does not like to be kept waiting. You will be polishing the trophies," she added.
James made a face in protest. "The trophies? Again? I just polished them last week, how could they possibly be in need of cleaning already?" Their Transfiguration teacher raised an eyebrow but did not say anything. James rolled his eyes at Lily. "Well, maybe I'm underestimating the, uh, power of dust," he said, his voice dripping sarcasm and then giving Lily a grin. They walked out of the room together and went separate ways. "See you tonight then," he called back at Lily. "And make sure you're there, 'cause I don't fancy the idea of a lonely night cleaning trophies by myself." As if Lily wouldn't come. This was a detention of a lifetime!
After dinner, Lily rushed out of the Great Hall and headed towards the Trophy Room. She was the first one there, and taking advantage of the reflective surface of the doors of the Trophy cabinet, fixed her hair in the reflection. She rubbed at an ink stain on her chin, wondering vaguely how long it had gone unnoticed. She had just managed to get the last fleck of ink off her face when James sauntered into the room. Catching sight of his reflection in the cabinet, she snap-turned around. "Hey," she said timidly.
"Hello," he said back, flashing his white teeth in a magnificent smile that made Lily go weak at the knees. "It's Molly, right?"
Lily felt her heart sink. "Lily, actually -"
"Yeah, Lily, that's it. Sorry about that. Not so good with names, you know how it is," he said smiling again, and Lily immediately forgave him. She almost hated him for having this kind of power over her - but no, she couldn't hate him. Who could hate James Potter? "I'm James," he said, though it was an unnecessary introduction. Lily knew perfectly well who he was.
"I know who you are," she said, daring to flash a grin.
"That popular, am I?" he said with a laugh.
Lily shrugged timidly. James decided he rather liked this girl on the basis that she was different in a way that was entirely her own. She was unlike all the girls he had previously dated; she was refreshingly quiet and gentle. It was nice to have a change from girls who were overconfident and loud, telling him they wanted it like this, not like that, and 'put your pants back on' - that kind of thing. Since he had hit puberty and matured a little, he had been constantly surrounded by these kinds of girls. It was time for a challenge. He was going to win this girl over, no matter what it took. After all, he did have a lot to offer.
Lily would have been perfectly happy dying right there and then, had she been aware of James' present thoughts, but at that precise moment Filch decided to enter, mop, bucket and dusters in tow. He looked pityingly at the pair of students standing in front of the Trophy cabinet. "You will be using Muggle means to clean the Trophy room. One of you will dust the Trophies, while the other will mop the floor. Understood?" Lily could tell at first glance that he just loved to boss students around. There was a superior look painted on his face and he thrust out the mop and bucket to Lily.
James intercepted and frowned at the caretaker. "Hey, be a little more gentle to the lady," he said with a wink at Lily. When Filch left, he turned to Lily. "So how come I haven't noticed you around before?"
Though she felt like a nervous wreck inside, her stomach flip-flopping all over the place, she had little difficulty talking with James. She shrugged again. "I don't know, I guess I just fade into the background," she laughed, managing to keep her tone light and free of self-pity.
For a second he just looked at her, surprised, but then he laughed. "You? I hardly think you'd fade into the background. I mean you've got such bright red hair, like the color of a Howler or -" Lily gave him a bemused expression, and he checked himself. "Sorry, that kind of came out wrong. But sometimes I get so tongue-tied when I'm talking to -"
Now it was Lily's turn to look surprised as she dusted yet another trophy. "You? Get tongue-tied? I don't think so."
"Just wait 'till you get to know me a little better. You should hear some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth before I think. It's a disgrace...or so my mum says. But yeah, you're probably not interested in what my mum says, huh?"
"Oh, no, not at all. I mean - I don't mind, really, I don't," Lily said truthfully, just glad to be so close to him, let alone talking to him. There was an awkward silence for a moment, and then Lily continued, "So, how come you didn't tell McGonagall that it was really Sirius who threw the paper ball at her?"
He lifted his shoulders into a shrug, a look of indifference on his face. "He would've done the same for me. Anyway, I don't mind. In fact, I'm kind of -"
"Yes? Kind of what?" Lily said breathlessly, anticipating the answer.
"Well, I guess I'm kind of glad that I got detention, else I would never have met you."
"Really?" Lily said, almost bashfully.
"Yeah, really. Hey, come here," he said after a pause, beckoning Lily with his hand.
Lily stepped towards him, mouth dry and head spinning. Suddenly she felt overwhelmingly aware of the waves of heat emanating from his body. Her heart was pounding. He leaned forward and she braced herself, closing her eyes and awaiting the kiss that never came. "Lily," he said after a moment, ever so softly. Lily opened her eyes but avoided making eye-contact, feeling embarrassed. "You've got a feather from the duster in your hair." Gently he reached out and plucked it from her head, sending shivers down her neck as he made contact with her hair.
"Thanks," she said gazing up at him.
"Lily," he said again. She was feeling incredibly lightheaded as he moved towards her. Their noses bumped at first, and it was entirely unlike how Lily had imagined her first kiss to be. Time didn't slow down, and she had no idea what to do with her hands. Awkwardly she put them around him, and he caressed her hair with his fingers. No, it was almost bittersweet, Lily decided as James pulled away. Like dark chocolate it left her burning for more. He was looking at her now with bright eyes, taking in everything about her. Lily couldn't believe that this was happening.
Suddenly he knitted his eyebrows together, looking at her neck with a curious expression.
"What?" Lily asked, reflexively raising her hand to her neck.
"Your necklace -"
"Oh, it was a gift from one of my childhood friends. His family moved away so our parents bought us these matching necklaces, only I took the wrong one so I don't know his name." She held up the necklace and showed him the piece of the broken heart.
"Yeah," Lily said, not following. "What are you getting at?"
"Well, look -" James said, putting his hand inside his robe to draw out what suspiciously looked like the other half of the necklace to Lily. But it couldn't be.. "I've got a similar story - except it was my family that moved away, and my best friend was a girl. Do you think - here, give me your necklace."
Lily reached up behind her neck to unhook the necklace and handed it to James, who had done the same with his. He put the two together and read: "Lily and James Forever". He looked up at Lily with disbelief. "I can't believe I've found you."
Lily didn't have anything to say. Her eyes filled with tears of joy, and she just looked at him, half crying, half smiling. James wiped her tears away gently with his thumb. "I remember what my mother said, the last time we saw each other. I asked her if I would ever see you again, and she told me that I would, if fate had its way."
"Fate?" Lily said softly.
James nodded emphatically now. "Yes, Lily, fate. There's no other explanation for it. I mean, how else could this have happened?" He moved to kiss her again when Filch suddenly barged into the room, looking furious.
"Out! OUT! I've had enough of your antics, Potter. You never get a job done properly, you lazy little -" He cut off and tried to calm himself a little before muttering something about introducing a harsher punishment system under his breath. "OUT!" he screamed again. "I've just caught Peeves in the act," he said brandishing a black and white photo of what looked like Peeves the Poltergeist writing rude and unmentionable things on the blackboard of McGonagall's Transfiguration classroom.
Pulling Lily behind him, James snatched the photo out of Filch's hands and streamed out the door, running for his life, with Filch screaming obscenities after them. Finally at the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room, James breathlessly muttered the password and the portrait of the Fat Lady swung back to let them pass.
Choking out between laughs, Lily said, "Did you see the look on his face? That was amazing, James!"
"I know - he was pissed as hell, wasn't he," said James and they collapsed into the soft couch in front of the fire, laughing until they were holding their sides in pain. After they had stopped laughing, James took Lily's hand in his and asked her to be his date for the End of Year Ball. And, well, you know the rest of the story after that.
Sixteen years later, Harry James Potter found himself sneaking to his girlfriend's dormitory under his Invisibility Cloak. Though he would never know it, he had grown to be the perfect son that James and Lily Potter had wanted. He was courageous and smart and loyal, and somewhere up in the heavens, his mother and father were gazing down at him with adoration and pride. Like a whisper on the wind, something told him to reach into the side pocket of his Invisibility Cloak he had never used. His hand came into contact with a cool metal surface, and lighting his wand, Harry looked down at what he had found. It was two necklaces, each with a half-heart shaped pendant hanging on them. Pausing a moment, Harry put them together. A tear sliding down his cheek, he read the immortal words: 'Lily and James Forever'.
Author's Note: I really hope you guys enjoyed reading that, 'cos I enjoyed writing it. Now that you've come this far you might as well review and give me a little ego-boost, even if you didn't like it. Flamers, go ahead and do your work if you truly hated the story, but if you want me to take you seriously you can give me some constructive criticism. It will be muchly appreciated.