Disclaimer: Ok, if it'll make all the Harry Potter people feel better, I'll do one of these. But I really think that they're pointless. I don't own anything that JKR, genius that she is, has made up. Emmy's mine though. So far, those are the only people I have. Oh, and Erica.

Summary: Well… There isn't much of one. I think that the title is sort of self-explanatory. Naturally, Lily and James do end up together. And this is a Lily/James fic. Ok, I think that covers it. Rated R.

-Chapter One: I Hate the Holidays-

-By Natali-

Lily Evans grabbed a glass of champagne as the guy carrying the tray passed by. "Happy New fucking Year, Lils," she muttered to herself caustically, downing it all at once.

"You've got to cheer up," Emmy said, joining her best friend with her own champagne in her hand. Lily took it, and downed that one too. "It's been three years, Lily."

"So? I still hate it. And I've never liked the holidays. So pointless, and all you do is get fat on delicious desserts that you spend hours making," she snarled. "Gosh, whoever invented Christmas and celebrating the new year anyway? As if anyone cares that it's a new year. Do you know how many things there are to celebrate?"

"Lily, don't start off on one of your rants again," Emmy hissed. "For fuck sake, it's a party. Be happy, drink, get laid, and let it go."

Lily's full lips drew down in a frown. "I don't want to get laid."

"'Cause no one's as much of a sex god as James Potter." It wasn't a question, but a statement. Emmy shook her head sympathetically. "Lily, you both agreed to—"

"Shut it, Emmy, please." Lily looked around for another glass of champagne. "I'm going to get pissed up tonight, and I don't want to even remember tonight tomorrow morning."

Emmy bit back a groan as she saw a commotion near the door of the house they were at. "You might not want to do that, Lils."

"Why the bloody hell not?" Lily growled, closing her tapered fingers around the neck of her newly acquired glass triumphantly. "It's not like I care about a little liver disease."

Tearing her eyes from the new arrivals, Emmy studied her friend. "You are the oddest depressed person I have ever met."

Lily shrugged. "I passed depression two and a half years ago."

"Whatever. Point is, I wouldn't be so quick to get drunk. Potter's here."

"Ha, ha, very funny."

"Dead serious."

"Sirius's dead?"

"No. I mean I'm serious."

"You forget that I'm halfway drunk already. You're not Sirius. And if you are, then I seriously drank too much."

"Lily, you're being stupid on purpose."

Lily smirked. "All right, well. On the bright side, at least he can't say I've let myself go and look like shit." Lily surveyed her red dress. "I'm a bombshell who just happens to be slightly sad inside but hates to dwell on it."

"If you're lucky, he'll even get a boner."

"Fuck off, Emmy," Lily rolled her eyes. "Oh, Merlin, he's coming straight this way, isn't he?" She downed another glass of champagne. "Maybe I'll even vomit on him."

"Remind me why you two broke up again?" Emmy smiled politely, speaking out of the corner of her mouth.

"Different. Wanted different things."

"You haven't told me that yet," Emmy noted. "You said that you just didn't feel comfortable with each other. Thank God that alcohol always makes your lips loose. And after three years, too! Let me guess, he didn't want children or a wife or any of that committment?"

Lily graciously returned James's greeting nod. "No. Other way around."

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"Hey, Linda," Remus smiled, kissing the cheek of the hostess of the party. "Here's James. Is that girl here yet?"

"Erica will be here later, and she's so excited to meet him," Linda replied, taking their coats. She gave Sirius a special smile, winking as she shook his hand. "So glad that the notorious heartbreakers of Franklin Street could join my smallish party."

James looked around. Not really a small party, or a small house. There was a ballroom for heaven's sake. He guessed that there were about one hundred and fifty persons in that room, probably more already shagging in the garden out back. New Years parties were always so predictable and almost always resulted in someone getting pregnant.

His eyes came to rest against a bored-looking redhead and her blonde-haired best mate.

"Oh, fuck. Sirius, Remus. Look who's here," James sighed, nodding his head in their direction. Why him? And why now?

"Who? Lila and Emmy? Do you know them?" Linda asked, messing up Lily's name. "I work with Emmy. Lila seems a bit of a bitch though. And she's drinking all my champagne. I hadn't originally invited her, but Emmy wouldn't have come otherwise."

"We… have been acquainted," Remus replied when she seemed to wait for a comment. "Go over there, James. Say hi and all that shit."

"Spare me," James snorted. "Do you have any hard liquor, Linda? Or arsenic? I'll take whatever poison you have."

Linda laughed it off as a joke. "Go mingle. Should I call Emmy over?"

"No!" James said quickly. She'd think he was coming here purposely to see her. "I'll… do it myself."

"You'd better go," Sirius said, lightly nudging James forward. "You can't avoid her. Besides, you'd look immature and she'd probably think that you were ignoring her, which you would be, and that you didn't want to see her. But we all know that you do. Very much really."

"Go up to her before she comes up to you," Remus suggested, sipping a cup of vodka Linda had handed him. "You'll look better. And you know that she'll come up to you if you don't. Lily always had balls. You broke up because…?"

"And if she doesn't come, then Emmy will," Sirius chortled. "Damn, they both look good, don't they?"

Remus made a slight humming sound in the back of his throat. "No kidding. Could those dresses get any tighter?"

"Yes, they could," James glared. "You two so-called friends aren't helping matters any. Well, let's get this hell over with. If we find a nice drink along the way, grab me five." That said, they headed for the two girls, who were apparently discussing them, if the glances were any indication.

Along the way, Remus and Sirius had gotten caught up in the crowd, so James reached them first. He would have liked to have waited for his back up, but that would've made it seem as if he was afraid to go on by himself (not that he wasn't afraid, but they didn't need to know that). As he reached them, he inclined his head in greeting. "Hello."

"Hello," they chorused.

"Such a pleasure to see you," Lily said, smiling so naturally that he wondered if she was so over him that she barely remembered his name. He wouldn't want that. Yeah, he was over her, but there was still something there. Sort of. To put it plainly, he was too much of a pompous ass to not want her to remember him.

He was about to reply when he felt Sirius brush past and say, "Hello, my gorgeous ones." He walked up to Emmy, kissed her cheek and let his eyes roam over her golden dress. "You look so good, Ems," he growled. Next he turned to Lily and stretched out his arms. She smiled and stepped right into them, giving him a kiss on his cheek as James watched Sirius's hands slide to her bare back.

James saw green.

Next, Emmy spotted Remus. "Remus, my love, are you shy or something? Come say hi."

He obliged, grinning as she brushed her lips on his nose, a hand running down his jaw. "You look even better up close than you do far away," her mumbled into her ear.

They released each other, and Lily went to Remus, kissing his cheek too. James felt his fists clench. Why were they being so chummy with her? She'd been his girlfriend, and they'd never touched her like that before, three years back.

Finally they'd all said hello—bar James, of course. And, of course, Lily just had to fix that.

"James, I don't bite," she smiled, holding out her hand. He took it and awkwardly hugged her. Damn, she felt good. "Not hard, anyway," she whispered into his ear, just for him. A million visions flew into his mind. No, not hard at all.

"Where have you three disappeared to?" Emmy asked.

"Work," Sirius replied for all of them. "In Venice."

"Sounds fun."

"Was," Remus said. "Until we were called back here. I have to say, I'm glad. I can't understand more than two words in Italian." They all laughed uncomfortably.

There was a short silence (well, between them. It was actually rather loud in the room).

"Hey, there's ten seconds 'til midnight!" someone called out over a microphone.

As everyone began the countdown, Lily held James's gaze. Blimey, but he looked good! He had only gotten even better in the three or so years she hadn't seen him. Sexy bastard.

"Three…"

That first year had been hell, fending off other dates and trying to keep happy. It wasn't exactly depression, but not exactly not either.

"Two…"

The second was better. Not as hard, but still rather dull since they'd both sort of sworn off dating for awhile. After all, who needs all that pressure? A very boring year.

"One…"

It was still very boring. Too boring.

"ZERO!" There was a great noise suddenly.

It was boring, but not sufficiently so for them to ever even think about getting back together. At least, not with each other. Maybe in their head. But not in any other way.

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"How is it," Emmy said from her bed the next morning, "that you never seem to get hangovers?" She groaned in misery.

Lily shrugged. "I guess I'm unlucky. I brought you something for it from my house. You left it there last time."

She handed Emmy the bright green liquid, which she drank as quickly as she could. "I was wondering where it'd gotten to," Emmy remarked, instantly feeling better. "Did you have fun last night?"

Lily didn't answer right away. "It was different."

"Obviously. But did you have fun?"

"I just drank and had to let down some fifty-year-old who thought he was the shit. Did you?"

"I would have enjoyed myself more if you had."

"I didn't have a bad time."

"But neither did you have a good one." Emmy sighed, burrowing close to Lily as she got into bed. "Lily, why do you keep doing this?"

"I'm bored."

"Of what? Me? Life? The men in Britain?" she asked somewhat hysterically. "You've been hung up on this guy for—"

"I'm not hung up."

"But you can't seem to find anyone else satisfactory," Emmy retorted. "The longest relationship you've had since him has been two days long."

"Look, it's not that I want him back or that I'm still crying over him. Damn it, Ems, the decision to break up was mutual. That means we both thought it was for the best. We both agreed!" Lily snapped. "I just don't want to get involved with anyone else. Too much hassle."

Emmy was quiet for a moment before saying what she should have years ago. "You don't want to get involved with anyone else because you know that all the good guys are looking for wives and kids and for someone to love and love them back. You're not bored, you're boring."

Lily didn't respond to that, and it made Emmy only more annoyed.

"What happened to the Lily I knew?" she carried on, sitting up in her bed now. "What happened to lively, satisfied-with-life, take the bull by the horns, never let anyone take advantage of her Lily? The one who actually cared about herself?"

Lily got up from the bed, saying, "She isn't here anymore." She'd walked out into the hallway, but Emmy still felt she should say what she said.

"No, she can't accept that she does want the things she thought she didn't, and now the only person she could ever imagine helping her to accomplish those things is probably out of her life forever!"

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Practice Room James read on the sign, opening the door. He'd finally located a wizard gym in London after being back for two weeks. He'd probably be sore tonight. But being pretty has its price. Everything was going great until he noticed someone in there as well.

The person inside wasn't who he was expecting at all. It was so out of character for her.

Lily Evans—damn, of all the places—was beating up some dummy in her tight work out pants and matching blue tank top. She was sweaty, her hair was coming out of its ponytail, she was red in the face, she didn't have make up on, and looked beautiful.

"You little fuckers," she growled when the dummy finally ran away, whimpering. "Where's the next little shit?"

"Slow down there," James said, putting down his back. "What is it exactly that you do, Lily?"

Her eyes got wide for a moment, before she regained composure. "I'm a receptionist at St. Mungo's."

"And do you regularly beat up people there, or is this just for fun?" James smiled, pulling off his shirt. Lily's eyes lingered on his sculpted abs, the planes of his chest reminding her of what she couldn't have.

"It's something to do when I'm so fucking bored I've even counted the tiles in my flat. Which happens pretty bloody often. I hate being bored, it's such a pain in the arse. Happy New Year again."

"Same," he muttered, watching her out of the corner of his eye. She seemed to be waiting for something. But what, he didn't know.

A dummy jumped out at her suddenly. With one quick yell, she punched it in the jaw, sending it to the floor in a split second.

With raised eyebrow, he continued to watch as she got her bag and left without even a goodbye.

"I think she resents me," he chuckled. "Or maybe my missing shirt." A dummy came at him, and he felled it with one swift kick to its gonads. "You are little fuckers, trying to sneak up on a person like that."

Which also made him realize something. Had Lily always sworn like that, or was this a new addition to his angel's personality?

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Lily opened the door to Emmy's office, throwing her gym bag onto the floor haphazardly. "I saw him again."

Emmy looked at her over her professional looking glasses. "Who?"

"James. I saw him at the gym. My gym, I might add," Lily scowled. "What the hell was he doing at my gym?"

"It isn't yours, Lils."

"I was there first!"

"I thought you were over him?" Emmy asked coolly.

"Piss off, Ems. You know what I mean."

"Yes, I know that you mean that it annoys you to have to see him because you know you want him."

"No, I mean it annoys me that I have to see him because I don't want to see him!"

"Because you want him."

"I do not."

"Do too."

"Do not!"

"You do, I just know it," Emmy stated, as if that settled the matter. "When I took you to your flat last night and you were asleep, you said his name."

"Of course I did. I'd just seen him for the first time in three years. How can you expect me to not dream about it?" Lily snapped.

"You said his name… with a certain umph, if you catch my meaning."

"I'm afraid that I don't."

"You sounded as if he was giving you the best sex you've ever had," Emmy snickered. "You were groaning, and—"

Lily made a frustrated noise. "You, Ems, are impossible!" She disapparated back to work, hoping to get rid of the heat that had infused her.

The only reason that she felt so messed up was because he'd surprised her by showing up there today. That was all.

At least, that's what she kept telling herself.

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-A/N: This had started out as a one shot. So much for that. Read and review, let me know if you like it.