James searched ardently through his belongings, sure it had to be somewhere. "Sirius!" he called in exasperation after he had reached the bottom. "Have you seen my journal?"
Sirius's head slipped in through his door, a bite of Christmas turkey dangling from his mouth to examine a flustered looking James with a pair of pants dangling down his hair. He snorted at the sight. "No mate. You probably left it at school. Last time I saw it was at the end of Transfiguration after you got in trouble."
James knew that Sirius would not lie to him, especially about something like this, and so he nodded tiredly.
"Why don't you just write on some spare parchment and insert it later when we get back?" Sirius asked through another biteful of food.
James shook his head. "S'Alright. I just could have sworn I had brought it with me. I had it with all my books and tossed them in my trunk. I mean, why would I have forgotten it behind?"
"Dunno, but you have to have some of this turkey before I eat it all…"
James sighed and did not think about his journal for the rest of break.
Lily Evans however, could get nothing else in her mind. Her mother kept inquiring as to why she was so distracted, and her father kept insisting she needed more sleep, that she was working too hard at school. Lily did not know how to explain that it was in fact the result of one tiny little book that completely changed her entire existence.
Every time she would decide what she was to do about the book, she became unsure. She could not just casually hand it back to him – they would never be able to look each other in the eye ever again. She would never be able to pretend she had never actually read what she had read.
And what if it was all some wild horrible prank? An elaborate one to make her confess her feelings for him, only to have him laugh in her face. Perhaps he suspected her feelings. Perhaps she had been too obvious. She would not have thought that James Potter would be less dense about her desire for him than her own friends and dorm mates, but perhaps he was? And then where did that leave her?
In times of distress over the subject, she would open up the little book and re-read her favorite passages. Of course the thought of keeping it had crossed her mind more than once. Especially after reading passages like 'If Lily were with me, I'd spend every minute trying to make her feel beautiful.'
It was when she was casually reading through the passages again that inspiration struck. 'I wish, she read, 'Lily Evans, for just one second could look at me and feel as deeply and passionately the desire I feel for her. Maybe then she'd look back when she walks away to make sure I'm watching her go and silently begging her to stop.'
She could test him. If it was true, if any of it was true, then they would argue again soon. He would be thinking about her, maybe he would be thinking about her like that (she flushed at the thought), and he would not have his journal to confide in. He would get in an argument when he saw her. On the first day back at classes, on the night they returned, maybe even on the train ride back to school. They would argue, she would walk away, and then, she would look back at him, and if he was still watching her, then she would know.
Then she would know he loved her.
She did not allow herself to think beyond that moment. Either conclusion was too much to bare, and it was with great desperation that she waited for holiday to finish.
He leaned back in his seat as he wrote on a spare bit of parchment and closed his eyes, picturing her face. He would see her again today. He had half a year left with her. He grinned. That wasn't true. They would go into Auror training together. He would still see her every day. It wouldn't be as casual an environment, but he would still see her. See her as she grew older, see as she fought alongside him, see her become a mother to someone else's children. He shook the gut wrenching thought from his mind.
He would tell her. He had to tell her. Even if she laughed in his face and didn't believe him. She deserved to know. He would do it now, right now. He tried not to think about how many times before he had decided to tell her and lost his nerve or thought too deeply about it. He strode off to find her.
She was just entering the Head compartment when she glanced to the side and noticed him pointedly walking towards her. She gasped slightly. It was hard to pinpoint the exact location of where he made her heart hurt with how attractive he could be, but it seemed to be the bottom right side that always skipped a beat.
"Evans, I need to talk to you," he said sharply as though he was looking through her at some distant point.
For a moment, she could not stop blushing, could not stop staring at him, could not stop thinking about his words echoing around her head. Brilliant, perfect, deepest desire
"Are you feeling alright?" he asked, his voice softened slightly as his eyes focused on her, scanning her flushed face and tired eyes. His eyebrows furrowed together in concern. More concern than someone who typically detested her should have.
"I'm…I'm fine," she said, coming back to herself.
"You're sure?" he asked, and his hands directed her into the compartment and into a seat. He was so kind. Too kind. It was a joke. It was all a joke.
"Yes," she snapped bitterly.
"Well good," he snapped back, just as sharply. "Because heaven forbid you could just admit that you're ill."
He transfigured an ice pack from a piece of parchment and began to place it on her forehead.
She shoved it away, glaring. "I'm not ill."
He rolled his eyes. "Then why are you flushed and more irritable than usual?"
"Because I'm looking at you!" she bit out. She felt guilty because it was true, and she had said it like it was true, but it wasn't the whole truth, and she watched his face close in front of her.
His ice pack dropped to the floor. "Fine," he said. "I get it. I'll leave."
No, no, no! she thought. He couldn't be the one to leave! "Wait! I'm sorry. I didn't mean that like it sounded."
He paused, his hand gripping the door jam until his knuckles were white.
"What were you going to say?" she asked quietly.
He took a deep breath, but then let it out with a choked laugh. "Nothing important," he said. He began to walk away.
"Tell me," she demanded. "What you were going to say."
He turned back to her and for the first time, she noticed something strange. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but the words seemed to catch in his throat, and instead, other words rushed forth, but she didn't hear them. She had seen this before, so many times, but she never understood what it meant until now.
She blinked at him. Judging by his expression, he was waiting for a cutting reply.
Before she knew what was happening, words she did not know were inside of her were tumbling out. "I'm extremely sensitive behind my knees," she announced. She was not sure whether he was more shocked than she was, but she was rather sure it was close.
If she had thought it was a prank before, she was no longer harboring that fear. He had gone white as a ghost and then as red as a cherry, his eyes terrified, before his voice whispered out a cracked, "What?"
She did not know what to say. She did not, of course, mean to say that at all. It had just come out. She expected him to start asking how she had gotten hold of the book, how much she had read, what she thought about what she had read. She hung her head.
"Well," he said in a dull tone of voice. "I guess I don't have to say anything after all. I'm going to go jump out a window, if you'll excuse me."
"Did you mean it?" she asked, suddenly doubtful.
He turned back at her sharply and bitterly. "Of course I meant it, I just never meant for you to read it."
He turned away again. "I have a picture of you. I look at it every night before bed, and I think that tomorrow I'll get you to like me. Tomorrow you won't snap at me, you won't see me as not good enough. Tomorrow, I think, I'll get you to smile at me like you do in that picture. Tomorrow I'll let you know I love you, and tomorrow you'll love me back. But tomorrow has been almost seven years, and I'm so tired of waiting for tomorrow. So I think I'm going to tell you today."
She looked up at him, but he was no longer standing in the doorway. He was standing in front of her, and as their eyes met, he knelt down and his hands brushed softly across her face to hold her head.
"Then tell me," he said desperately and closed his eyes.
"I love you," she said, and he swallowed hard.
"Say it again," he said, and surprised, she did. "Again," he demanded.
She smiled, and coyly replied, "I won't. Not until you say it too."
He opened his eyes, and smiled at her with every fiber of his being and she melted under that familiar look that she had been so desperate for for so long. "Well I love you of course," he said plainly.
"Oh really?" she said in mock surprise. "I wasn't aware of that."
"Well now you know," he whispered to her, then grinned his lovely warm grin that she fell in love with. "You little witch."
She grinned back. "Coming from you, Mister Potter, I'll take that as a compliment."
His eyes twinkled. "Let me kiss you," he whispered.
"Yes," she whispered back, and closed her eyes as his face moved towards hers. His breath trembled as he held back. "James," she begged, and he gave a soft joyous gasp before pressing his lips to hers.
When he pulled back to let her breathe many minutes later, he could not help himself. "Again," he said, and she smiled.
Lily thinks I do not need this anymore, but I know better. I think she is afraid I will write something bad about her, but I don't think she realizes that that was the point of this journal to begin with. It's about the bad not really being bad, but good. Really good. Like red lips giving you a 'come here' smile good. Her lips will be the death of me.
After several hours of the most pleasant snogging one could possibly imagine, Sirius interrupted us on accident. The entire school now knows, which was rather disappointing as I had hoped to have many more of these sessions under the pretense of patrolling, but after the raised eyebrow I got from McGonagall when we walked into the Great Hall holding hands, I highly doubt this will be possible.
At least I still have my invisibility cloak.
Lily and I still have spats (two so far this morning alone, though one I started to get her kicked out of the library so I could kiss her). I still have trouble saying what I mean, but we are working on it. She is incredibly patient and wonderful about it.
If you have stolen this again, you stealer, then I'll have you know that this morning when I said your wrist movement was atrocious in Transfiguration, I really meant your hair is extremely pretty today. You should wear it down more often. If this was not implied when I skived off Divination and pulled you out of Arithmancy under the subterfuge of Head business, only to pull you into the fourth floor broom cupboard to snog with you and touch your hair, then I will forgive you stealing this again.
I really did mean it when I said I had been waiting seven years to do that.
Maybe I really don't need this journal anymore. You know I love you now. And if you ever doubt that, then re-read through these pages, because they're honest and open and true, and nothing will ever change them. This journal is evidence, incriminating evidence, that I am James Harold Potter III, I love Lily Evans, and I am terrible at hiding it.
AN: It's done:does little happy dance: I seriously can't believe all the reviews I've gotten for this. I 3 all of the reviews I have received. You guys are awesome.