Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Note: Hey, everyone. This is it. This is the last chapter. Hope you like it!
"James Potter is dead!"
"Where did you hear this?"
"Oh, from a fifth year who heard it from another fifth year who heard the head girl talking about it with some of her friends."
"This is awful!"
"I know. Margeret said she saw Sirius Black crying."
Lily stared at the two sixth years speaking a few seats down the Gryffindor table two days later at dinner. Nothing had been heard about James' condition yet. No one had been allowed into the hospital wing to see him either. The professors wouldn't say a word. Apparently, they wanted James to "rest in peace". That's what Professor Mcgongall said to her when she asked. Did she mean, recover from his accident in peace. . .or, did she mean that they wanted James to actually Rest in Peace.
That definitely wasn't good. Not in Lily's opinion anyways.
She had heard nothing but rumors and gossip floating around since James left the quidditch pitch on a stretcher, unconcious. After the shock of him asking Lily who she was, James fell unconcious.
One thing she did know right now was that what those sixth years were saying definitely wasn't true. First of all, she knew as much about James as the next Hogwarts student. She was clueless. So, she definitely wasn't going around talking about James dieing. Besides, she would go around blabbing that to everyone. It would be kept quiet.
Second of all. . .well, James just couldn't be dead. That wasn't right. Everything would change. Hogwarts wouldn't be the same, even Lily had to admit that. . .He couldn't be dead. Lily really didn't want to think about him that way.
And lastly, other than Sirius moping around, being very quiet, and being totally uncharacteristic all together, Lily doubted Sirius was crying. Who knows maybe he had been crying. He just didn't seem like a person to cry. Of course, he and James have always been like brothers. On the other hand, Sirius wasn't believing all this rubbish about James dying. She didn't think he would. Remus and Peter about the same as Sirius. The three mostly kept to themselves.
Lily turned her head back to her plate, only to hear another conversation going on somewhere else.
"They say he lost his memory."
"Really? I heard he lost his eye."
"That's not what I heard. I heard he professed his love for the head girl just before dying."
"Hmmm. I heard he had his arm cut off."
Lily sighed tiredly.
"Hey, Black." Lily greeted awkwardly as she sat down next to him in the Gryffindor section of the stands of the quidditch pitch. He had left early from dinner. Despite the fact that she and Sirius never had been on good terms, Lily decided to see if he was alright.
Sirius turned slightly surprised to see Lily sitting down beside him. ". . .What are you doing out here?"
"I just thought I'd come outside for some air."
". . .What are you doing out here?" Lily asked.
Sirius shrugged,"Same as you."
Lily sighed. "Black, what happened here, it. . .it wasn't your fault. James would have been hit no matter what. You were too far away."
Sirius laughed without much humor,"So you just came outside for some air, did you?"
"Well, it was getting a bit stuffy in the Great Hall." Lily admitted before continuing,"But that's not the point. I know you blame yourself for what happened and. . .well, despite the fact we're not the really what you could call friends, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I know you and Potter have always been close."
Sirius just looked at Lily oddly, as if wondering if this was really the Lily Evans he had always known, before turning away,"I don't want to talk about it, Evans. Okay?"
"Alright. Fine. We don't have to talk about it." She paused for a while, silence surrounding them. "If there's anything I can do. . .well, you know." Lily finished awkwardly.
Sirius didn't reply for a while. "Okay, there is something you can do."
Lily was surprised. She didn't think Sirius would actually ask her to do something. "Er, alright." She said.
"Well, you know how no one can get into the hospital wing?" Sirius asked.
"Yes. . ." Lily wondered where this was heading.
"Well, you're head girl."
"Yes. . ." What did that have to do with the hospital.
"Well, I was thinking. Maybe you could somehow find an excuse to, you know, get in there and check up on James. Just to see how he is."
Lily stared at Sirius, before shaking her head,"Black, no one is going to let me in. Believe me."
"Because. Well, they just won't." Lily finished lamely. She truthfully didn't think Madame Pomfrey would let her in.
"They will if you have a excuse." Sirius pointed out.
"Yeah. And luckily, I have just the one. . ."
"I could get in trouble for sneaking around and lieing, Black."
"You said if there was anything you could do, you'd do it, right?"
"Yes, but I meant, help you with homework or give you my notes from transfiguration, not sneaking into the hospital wing."
"You won't be sneaking in. Madame Pomfrey will let you in."
Lily rolled her eyes.
"Come on, Evans." Sirius asked.
Lily glanced at Sirius, before sighing defeat. "Fine. What do I have to do?"
Knock, knock, knock
The hospital door opened, Madame Pomfrey peering out. Lily tugged at her skirt. "Hello, Madame Pomfrey.
"Ms. Evans? What are you doing here this time of night? Is something wrong?"
"Oh, no. Nothing's wrong. It's just that," Lily pulled out a note pad and quill from her bag. "I'm on the Hogwarts newspaper, Hogwarts Today and I was wondering if I could do a report on James Potter's condition." She really didn't like lying.
Madame Pomfrey didn't seem to be buying it so far,"I wasn't aware there was a newspaper at Hogwarts."
"Oh, well, it was just started a few weeks ago. At the request of. . .of the prefects."
"Yes. Anyways, everyone's been wondering about the condition of James, so if I could just-"
Madame Pomfrey cut her off,"I'm sorry, Ms. Evans, but no one is allowed to see Mr. Potter."
"Well, couldn't I just interview you?" Lily asked.
"No, I'm afraid not. Good night, Ms.-" Madame Pomfrey began to close the door, but Lily put her hand to it.
"Headmaster Dumbledore asked me to!" Lily blurted out, completely lying now. It worked though. The door swung slowly open again. "He asked me to personally do the article." She finished, holding her breath.
Madame Pomfrey stared at her critically. Lily, surprisingly, kept a straight face. She sighed,"Alright, Ms. Evans. Half an hour." The door opened wider for Lily to pass through. Lily stared at it for a moment. She had done it. She had lied and sucessfully snuck into the hospital wing.
He wasn't dead.
Madame Pomfrey informed her of this, along with that he had been unconcious off and on, through out the two days. Lily asked if James had lost his memory. Madame Pomfrey said that she didn't know; he hadn't spoken at all while he was concious. Lily faithfully wrote everything down. Even though the article was never going to be published since there was no such newspaper as the Hogwarts Today.
Lily sat now, alone, with James. After interviewing Madame Pomfrey, she asked if she could sit for a while and "organize her thoughts". Madame Pomfrey said that was fine, as long as she left in fifteen minutes. Madame Pomfrey left thereafter and headed to her office, saying she had potions remedies to organize.
James didn't look very good right then, to put it nicely. His right leg was broken, along with a few ribs, his right wrist was broken, and his head was all bandaged up. His glasses were laying unused on his bedside table.
Lily set her notepad and quill down on the bedside table, watching James breathe in and out normally. She knew he wasn't dead all along. James Potter couldn't die, no matter how stupid that may have sounded; everyone died at some point in time. But, in Lily's mind, she just couldn't imagine James Potter dead.
She reached out and hesitantly took his hand in hers. It was cold. Lily wondered what James wanted to talk to her about. She might never know now. James wouldn't remember. He wouldn't remember anything.
She sighed and made to let go of James' hand, when, to Lily's utmost surprise, James' own hand grabbed her wrist. "Bloody Merlin-. . ." Lily trailed off as she heard him. He groaned. ". . .Potter? Are you awake?" Lily leaned closer to him.
Lily stared as James' eyes slowly opened to meet hers. "You're awake!" She said in surprise, then continued quickly,"Um, I'm Lily Evans. And you're James Potter. You go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." She bit her lip as he stared her, confused. "You learn magic here. You're seventeen years old."
James blinked at her before saying in an odd voice,"Evans, what are you talking about?" He released her wrist.
She sighed,"That's my name, yes. Of course, my first name is Lily, but you always call me Evans. I always call you Potter, even though your first name is James."
"Evans, that's wonderful to know and all, but why are you telling me this?"
It was Lily's turn to stare at James in confusion. "Because you don't. . .remember."
James moved his head to the bedside table,"Get me my glasses, will you?"
Lily, in a daze, handed James his glasses. As he put his glasses on, Lily wondered what on Earth was going on. "What's this about not remembering now? And where's Sirius and Remus and Peter? Where is anyone?" Lily didn't reply, instead just kept staring at him. James snapped his fingers in front of her face,"Hello? Anyone there?"
She shook her head,"You. . .remember, then? Everything?"
"Of course, I do. What's with you, anyways?"
"But, back at the quidditch pitch. . .you asked who I was. . ." She trailed off.
James ran a hand through his hair,"Well, let's go back, Evans. Let's go back to when I was laying on the ground. If you remember correctly, I had been hit in the head and fallen a hundred feet. I was, you know, kind of out of it. I wasn't really there." He explained. "And, I had lost my glasses by then. I really can't see much without them."
"So. . .you didn't lose your memory. You just were out of it and didn't have your glasses." Lily stated slowly.
"Yeah." James replied back.
There was an awkward silence.
"Did we win?" James finally asked.
"What?- Oh. Right. No. . .er, Gryffindor sort of fell apart after you left."
Lily, very suddenly and unexpectedly, leaned over and hugged James. That's right. She leaned over and hugged James Potter. Lily Evans did that. Willingly.
James was surprised, to say the least. He just layed stiffly, either from the fact that he was sore all over (not to mention the broken bones) or he wasn't use to having Lily Evans hug him. Willingly.
Lily soon realized what she was doing (willingly) and hastily moved away from James. They sat for a moment before Lily began blurting out,"We thought you were dead. Or had lost your memory. Or, well, no one knew anything. None of the professors would tell us anything and we aren't allowed to visit you. They say you need to rest in peace." Lily said very quickly, James barely understood.
"If you're not allowed to visit, then why are you here?" James asked.
Lily looked around the hospital wing, making sure Madame Pomfrey was still in her office. "Well, your friend Black asked me to, you know, find a way in and see how you were. Since. . .you know, I'm head girl."
"Oh, so, Madame Pomfrey doesn't know you're here?" James asked in amusement.
"Of course, she does. . ." Lily trailed off. James raised an eyebrow, making Lily continue,". . .She just thinks I'm doing an article about your condition."
James smirked,"So, you lied and snuck in to check up on me. That's awfully nice, Evans. See? I told you. You just can't seem to keep out of my life. Or my business."
"I told you, Sirius asked me to!" She hissed.
"How is Sirius? And Remus and Peter?"
"They've been moping around thinking you're dead for the past two days. That's all." Lily said sarcastically. "Or that you lost an eye. . .or an arm. . ." Lily didn't mention the professing his love for her before dying rumor, because it was already awkward between the two.
"Well, you can tell them that everything's still connected to my body." James replied, waving his broken wrist as he said this.
"Okay." Lily said. There was silence again. "Um, I think I'll go now." She said, standing up.
James nodded before opening his mouth,"Oh, wait, Evans."
Lily sat back down, "Yes?"
"I wanted to talk to you before the match the other day, but Emma and Alice said you were still escorting the students to the pitch."
"Oh, yeah. They said you wanted to talk to me." Lily said quickly. What was he going to say? She watched him intently.
"Right, well, anyways, I was going to tell you that-"
What was he going to tell her?
"-you must have dropped your bracelet after patrol the night before the game."
Lily leaned back in her chair. "Oh." Was all she said. That was what he had to tell her? That she dropped her bracelet? That was what was so important? Lily tried not to show her- disappointment? Was that what it was?
"I founded it on the way down to the pitch the morning after. It has your name on it, so I assume it's yours. . ."James trailed off.
"Um, yes, I did lose my bracelet. Thanks for, you know, finding it."
"Yeah. It's in my dorm. I'll give it to you when I get out of here." James finished.
"Okay. Good." Lily began to stand up again.
"Oh, and you distracted me during the game and that's why I've been hit in the head by a bludger twice."
Lily sat back down again. She was having a rather hard time leaving. Her anger flared. Was he blaming her? Was he saying that she tried to kill him, again? "I did not distract you, Potter. I don't what you're talking about." She said cooly. She was in a rather bad mood now.
"Sure you did." James replied back, trying to sit up some. "One minute I was looking over at you, and the next, a bludger was heading my way."
"Well, that was your fault then, wasn't it? If you hadn't looked over at me, then there wouldn't be a problem, would there? Don't blame me for something that's your fault." Lily said angerily, standing up for the third time during her visit.
James reached over and grabbed her wrist, making her sit down again,"Hey, no need to get mad."
"Oh, of course. You only blamed me for what happened. When, clearly, it was your own fault."
"I wasn't blaming you." James said, "I was just saying what happened."
"No, I heard it in your voice. You were blaming me."
"No, I wasn't. You're just in a bad mood all of a sudden and hearing things."
"Then why are you telling me all of this, Potter?" Lily asked in exasperation. James didn't reply. Lily's patience was running thin. She stood up once again. "I'm leaving, Potter. Alright?"
James grabbed her wristed again,"No. Sit down." Lily yanked her arm away.
"Why? So you can blame me for something else?"
"No." James said, his patience starting to wear thin also. "If you weren't so clueless, Evans, you'd know why I told you that you distracted me."
"Oh, thanks, Potter.You blame me and insult me all in one visit." Lily stood up again, but James grabbed her arm again, making her sit down and not letting go. "You're being really difficult, Evans."
"And you're being a git, Potter."
James sighed in exasperation, pulling Lily closer to his bed by her wrist, before groaning in pain. He obviously moved too much that time. "Will you shut up and let me explain?" He asked.
"No, because I don't need an explanation. You were glaring at me at the game. You were thinking what a daft prude I was." Lily said, trying to get her wrist free.
"No, I wasn't."
"Yes, you were."
"No, I wasn't."
"Yes, you were."
"Oh, for Merlin's sake, Evans! How do you know what I was thinking?"
Lily stared open-mouthed for a moment,"Well, I don't. Not really." She said defeatedly. Lily hastily added,"But I don't need for you to explain what you were thinking. It's perfectly clear what you were thinking."
"Really." James stated more than asked.
"Yes." Lily also stated, she held up her wrist some,"Now, will you let go of my wrist so I can leave?"
James did just the opposite and pulled her closer till she was sitting on the edge of his bed. He sat up some more, grimacing at the movement. Lily tried to move away,"Okay, Potter, this isn't funny. Just-" She gave a tug,"let-", she gave another tug,"me-" she gave a third. Lily would have given another tug and finished with "go", but had some trouble since James gave her wrist a tug himself, making her lips fall straight onto his.
Lily was surprised, to say the least. At first, she thought he had done that on accident; to make her lips fall on his, she meant. But she began to think (in between James' lips moving against hers), what else could he have been trying to do? Why else had he kept pulling her closer to him? Was this a joke? Had he lost his memory just then? Was he intoxicated?
Whatever the reason was, James was a bit too preoccupied with kissing Lily, to explain. And Lily, well, she was a bit too preoccupied with kissing James back, to ask.
While his hand had loosened around Lily's wrist, James' other hand that had the broken wrist, slowly found Lily's hair, running through it just as slowly. The wrist, apparently, was in pain, moving around so much, but James was still preoccupied with Lily. Lily just sat awkwardly on the edge of James' bed, not minding, it seemed that her back was starting to ach from leaning over; she was preoccupied with James. Funny how kissing could make people so preoccupied.
A crash was heard from Madame Pomfrey's office, making the two pull apart, just staring at each other silently, while they heard Madame Pomfrey muttering angerily about a broken potions container.
Lily pulled away some, James' broken wrist falling to his side again. He held her wrist, still, in his other hand.
After a moment or so, James moved his hand that had the broken wrist to adjust his glasses. "Damn." He muttered in pain.
James' cursing must have brought Lily back from Kissing James Island since she slowly, in a daze, stood up from the bed, flustered. Just as she turned her back, James voice stopped her,"So, does that explain why I was looking at you?"
Lily turned back to James, sitting down again, in the chair, for what seemed like the fifty time since she entered the hospital wing. Instead of replying, Lily watched James for a moment, curiously. James seemed to be a bit embarrassed, though he was obvious trying to hide it. Because James Potter doesn't get embarrassed. Lily leaned a bit closer to James,". . .Did you, you know, momentarily lose your memory just then?" She obviously couldn't believe what had just happened.
"Er, no. . ." James replied in confusion.
"Are you intoxicated?"
"No. . ."James replied.
"Are you sure?" Lily asked.
"I'm positive. I still remember who I am and I doubt very highly that I am "intoxicated"."
"But you just kissed me."
James sighed in exasperation,"Evans, you are clueless. If you can't figure out what just happened, then I'm not saying."
"We just kissed, that's what happened." Lily hissed cooly, not particularly liking being called clueless twice in the same hour by someone, even if she had just been kissing that someone a few moments ago.
James raised an eyebrow,"And you sound as if you hated it." He noticed Lily's cool voice.
"Well, er, no- I mean, well, I just didn't like being call clueless- Argh, James Potter!" Lily stumbled to a finished.
"So, you didn't hate it."
"I didn't say that-"
"Then you did hate it? You really need to make up your mind, Evans."
Lily's eyes flashed at James in frustration,"You know what? I did hate it!" She poked him in the ribs, completely forgetting some were broken.
"Bloody hell, Evans!" James hissed painfully as Lily stared in horror at James. "Oh, Merlin. I am so sorry! I was just mad. I forgot that your ribs were broken. Oh, God. Are you okay? Do you want me to get Madame Pomfrey?" Lily's anger, it seemed, was completely washed away now.
"No. Pomfrey will only try and get me to choke down some gunky potions. I'll just settle for pain, thanks." James replied in strained voice.
"What if I made them worse?" Lily asked worriedly, meaning James' ribs.
"I don't think you can make them any worse than they already are. Their broken." James pointed out.
"Right. Well, er, sorry." Lily apologized.
James didn't say something nice like "Oh, it's okay." or "It wasn't your fault". Instead, he just went on with their previous conversation, a grimace still somewhat on his face from the pain,"I hated the kiss too, Evans."
Lily was a bit disappointed. Or maybe it was confused. She wasn't sure. She lifted her chin at James,"Not as much as I hated it."
"That's impossible. I hated way more than you did." James stated.
"No, I did."
"No, I did."
"Argh, stop mocking me!" Lily said in frustration.
"I'm not mocking you. I was just saying how much I hated the kiss."
"Even though I hated it more than you did." Lily pointed out.
James sat up, since he was beganing to slump down. "I was thinking."
"Really? With what? I didn't think you had a brain."
James ignored Lily's comment,"I was thinking," He repeated. "Maybe we should give the kiss another try. You know, to see who really hated it more." He reached out and took her hand, pulling her closer to him again.
Lily flushed again,"I don't know, Potter. I'm almost positive I hated the kiss more." His lips were barely an inch away now.
"Well, you're only almost positive you hated the kiss." James murmured lowly, brushing his lips against Lily's.
"That's true." As they tried the kiss again, Lily was beginning to think both were lying quite alot when they said they hated the kiss. Her hand that wasn't holding James', found his cheek as she rose some out of the chair and sat down on the edge of his bed again. James didn't move his other arm, the pain being too much for him now to move it.
Soon, they pulled apart, both flushed. They stared at each other. As James tightened his hand on Lily's own, she spoke,"I'm positive I hated the kiss more." Lily muttered.
"Not possible."James replied.
Lily, all of a sudden, cleared her throat. Her face couldn't get any redder. "I can't believe that just happened."
"All because of a bloody bludger." James stated.
Lily smiled. "I always have liked bludgers."
Last Author's Note: There it is. That's it. See? Everything turned out okay: ) I'm fairly pleased with the ending. Tell me what you thought of it, yeah? Thanks, everyone, for reading and review the story and I hope you enjoyed it!
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P.S. I will focusing on "An Off Course Bet" next, to get that finished.