AN: hey y'all! this is a repost, cuz apparently I can't publish lyrics that I don't own. o well…anyways, this is inspired by the Liz Phair song "Why Can't I". i realized after I wrote it that the lyrics go "best part of BREAKING up" (haha—without my reviewers, i prolly wouldn't have caught that), but the melody is what really inspired it anyways. so, thanxxx luvvies! now you can review all over again!

The Best Part of Waking Up

"Lils?" She didn't move, so he tried again.

"Lill-ee?" he tried in a sing-song voice.

She stirred against his shoulder with a murmur, but still kept her eyes closed. James gave a mental shrug, figuring that now he could tell her that he had tried to wake her up. She was comfortable where she was anyways, sprawled belly-down on top of him, head tucked into the crook between his neck and shoulder, ivory limbs tangled pleasantly with his. His tanned hands contrasted with the pale skin of her back, where they were tracing random designs lightly on her soft flesh.

Normally, James Potter was constantly in motion; he didn't like sitting still at all. Now, however, he didn't mind basking in the lazy glow of the rising sun peeping through a slit in the hangings surrounding his four-poster bed. The insolent stripe of gold trickled over the locks of auburn hair that spilled down Lily's back, giving them a golden-red hue.

Lily Evans. She was normally an early-riser but James was always insisting that she let him indulge every Saturday or so. It seemed that this time he had succeeded. Despite himself, he let a slightly satisfied smirk curl his sensuous lips. Glancing down at the redhead slumped over him, the smirk softened into a grin. His redhead. His to adore, spoil, tease, cuddle, support, cherish, and care for. His to whisper sweet nothings to in the evening after finishing all their schoolwork was finished while she was drifting slowly asleep in his arms. His to kiss and caress. His to relax with, laugh with. His to infuriate; his to beg forgiveness from, and then make up with. His to love, forever.

It hadn't been that long ago when she wasn't his, relatively, he reflected. But he could barely remember it.

They had gone to school together at Hogwarts for almost seven years now, and he had loved her for four of those. She had, to all outward appearances, despised him for most of those years, but that was hardly anything to deter James Potter, alias Prongs, Marauder Extraordinaire. With the help of his four friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, he had tried incessantly to get her to give him a second glance. It took almost three years.

In their first through third years, he and his friends had been too busy with mischief-making to notice girls, although they always made sure to be extra charming to the ladies. Lily Evans was a mere blip on his radar; the four boys made it a point to not prank any of the ladies from their house, Gryffindor, so Lily was left untouched, for the most part. When the four boys performed an exceptionally cruel prank, she took it upon herself to reprimand them harshly. It didn't escalate to screaming until the beginning of their fourth year. In the middle of one of their arguments, it suddenly hit James that Lily was exceptionally stunning when she was angry. Of course, Marauders were known for their charm with the ladies, so it only seemed natural to ask Evans if she cared to go with him to Hogsmead. Lily, agape with surprise, quickly recovered and barely took the time to spit out a harsh "No!" before turning on her heel and stalking up to the girls' dormitory.

A little taken aback by her rejection, and a little intrigued as to why she would say no, James made it a point to find out her pet peeves and use them to enrage her on a daily basis. It was never that he wanted to hurt her; it was just that she was incredibly sexy when she was fuming, not to mention amusing. He found every part of her fascinating; she was gorgeous, of course, but her personality was what really attracted him. She was so multi-faceted, and he loved it.

He would still ask her out occasionally (okay, more like twice a day), but she continued to refuse him, so he continued to tease her. A few times, his pranks would get out of hand, and that was when she got really angry. James always regretted those pranks, but he never could seem to remember to apologize to her, and so she continued to make like she despised him.

James could see through that, though, after a while; underneath it was fear. It took seven weeks of high-intensity observation by James and his friends (dubbed by Sirius "Operation Flower Power Enlightenment (O.F.P.E. for short)" after he had become obsessed with muggle spy movies) to figure out what made Lily refuse James.

It was apparent that Lily was afraid of letting anyone get too close, and who had more opportunity to discover her secrets than a boyfriend? It took another two and a half weeks of serious Marauder snooping (which made Lily only a little bit paranoid) to find Lily's secret.

It turned out that Lily's muggle mother had been murdered by Death Eaters, who were looking for Lily. The event sent Lily's family into a downward spiral. Her father became an abusive alcoholic after his wife's death, as he and Lily's sister Petunia (both muggles) had been informed of how Miriam Evans had died. Petunia, in an act to protect herself, had detached herself from her family. The rest of Lily's relatives had withdrawn from her life out of fear of her father.

This information infuriated James beyond belief. His thoughts dulled by rage at Lily's family, he rushed off to find her and confront her. He found her in the common room. Seeing the look on his face, everybody but Lily had decided to find somewhere else to study.

At first, she was shocked, then angry. She lashed out at him, asking him why he thought to intrude in her business, as if he had the right. Still not thinking clearly, James yelled back at her; the argument quickly escalated into an all-out screaming match. It ended abruptly when Lily did a hasty about-face. In the silence that ensued, James slowly came back to his senses; shocked and ashamed at what he had done, his shoulders drooped lower in mortification when he saw the tell-tale shudder ripple across her delicate back, indicating immediately that she was crying. James Potter, no matter how aggravating, never made women cry. It was against everything he ever believed in. What's more, he had never made Lily Evans cry; in fact, as far as he could recall, no one had ever seen Lily cry. Until then, that is.

Instantly repentant, James reached out and grabbed Lily's shoulders, turning her around. She stared at him helplessly as tears overflowed out of her eyes and cascaded down her cheeks; he suspected she had been holding back for a long time. Horrified that he had done this to her, James pulled her to him, surrounding her with his comforting warmth. She leaned against him, giving in to the need to be cared for; it was a need she had denied herself for too long. She felt so fragile trembling against him, her head only reaching the middle of his neck; James was overcome with a possessive urge to protect her.

He drew back slightly, tipping her face up to his with an index finger. The flow of tears had slowed, but a few salty droplets were still leaking out of the corners of her radiant eyes. Bending down to reach her, he slowly, gently pressed soft, reverent kisses all over her face. He kissed the tears away from her cheeks, chin, jaw, ears, nose, eyelids, brow, and forehead. His scattered kisses were so pure, so sweet, that Lily's tears almost started anew.

From then on, they were together. He was her rock, her support, her source of tender comfort. She was his balance, his rhyme and reason. They still fought occasionally, but they always made up afterwards. It was these displays that caused Sirius to start cat-calling and make exaggerated kissing noises. Remus just smiled, shook his head, and went back to the book that he was reading at the time. Peter would scrunch up his face, close his eyes, cover his hands with his ears, and mumble to himself, "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…" over and over.

James was drawn back to the present by a head shifting and luminous bottle-green orbs blinking up at him sleepily. Lily Evans, in James' opinion, looked undeniably sexy when she was waking up. Her rumpled curls slithered over her back as she shifted, bringing herself up one her elbows to look down at James drowsily. He watched in amusement as their situation hit her and a blush crept slyly up her cheeks. Timing his motions just right, he flipped them both over so that she was trapped under him, unable to withdraw as she had been about to do.

Ignoring her glare, and knowing that his actions were going to bring back memories from last night, he bent down to run his tongue up the delicate column of her neck.

"Good morning, Lily," he intoned huskily into her ear. She shivered with sensation as his tongue continued exploring, now tracing the contours of the dainty shell of her ear. She tried to gather her wits, but James was just too distracting. It was probably a good thing, though; Lily didn't have any previous experience with the "morning after" scene, and if James had let her, she probably would've gone into panic-mode.

James was well aware of this, which is why he kept up his lazy exploration of the pulse point at the bottom of her throat. He felt her begin to relax against him, sinking back into a boneless existence. He slowly made his way up her throat, over her chin, and up to her mouth. Once there, he pressed his lips to hers in brief, languid kisses that took Lily's breath away, transporting her back to the previous night.

Lily woke up in the middle of the night, breathing hard from a nightmare that seemed to come alive in the dark folds of the night. Still trapped in her dream-state, she rushed out of her dormitory, tripping her way down the stairs to the girls' dormitories, and then stumbling up the boys' staircase. If she had been fully coherent, she might've wondered why they let her up—thinking back on it, it was probably yet another spell discovered by the Marauders.

She burst into the seventh year boys' room, fumbling her way around the cluttered floor. She ripped back the curtains of James' bed, fearing the worst, that her nightmare had come true. She knew what the would look like; rumpled, as if someone had slept in it, only there would be a tear in the pillow from where someone had stuck a knife into and ripped. And there would be a solitary drop of blood in one corner of the snowy white sheets .

Instead, she found the bed…empty. It hadn't yet been slept in. Confused, Lily frantically ripped open the hangings of the other boys' beds. She ended up standing with her back to the window, the ripe moon behind her flooding the room to show that all four beds, if not neatly-made, hadn't been slept in since that morning.

She didn't know what to think. Maybe they had all been taken, and she was too late. Or perhaps they had been staying up late to plan a prank, and had decided to go down to the kitchen to get a midnight-snack before going to sleep, which meant that the Death Eaters would've missed them altogether.

Overwhelmed, Lily slumped onto James' bed, sobbing quietly. This was how the Marauders, minus Remus, found her fifteen minutes later when they staggered into their room. Lily, too lost in her own world, didn't notice them until James crushed her into his arms. Her sobbing halted as she froze, almost not believing that it was James' scent of brown sugar filling her nose. He pulled back, looking deep into her eyes.

"Lily, what's wrong, love? Why are you crying?" That is most definitely James' voice, she thought. The tears started flowing again, but this time from relief.

"Oh God, James, I-I-I had this awful nightmare, and you were sleeping and they came in-"

James cut her off. "Who's 'they', Lily?" he asked.

The Death Eaters were here, James, and they killed you and I was too late and-and you were dead…and…James, I love you."

The rest of the Marauders took this as their cue to shut and soundproof the hangings around the bed that James and Lily were sitting, as the couple would probably forget to until it was too late to matter. Then the left to find other places to sleep.

James stared at her for a moment, trying to sort through her disjointed talk. The last four words hit him hard when he finally realized what Lily had said. He noticed that she had become a little bit apprehensive, and he gave a strangled laugh when he realized that she was frightened of how he would respond to that magic phrase.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, Lily found herself surrounded by James as he pulled her into his arms, letting them both fall backwards onto his bed. He restrained his grin, but he couldn't keep the sparkle out of his eyes when he whispered, "I love you, too, Lils. Merlin, but I love you so much!" Lily flashed him a smile in response.

"Lils, it's over. The nightmares were just dreams, not reality. Voldemort is gone and the Death Eaters aren't coming back, okay?" he assured her. She nodded jerkily, still a little shaken.

And then he was everywhere. Kissing her lips, her face, her neck, her shoulders. She let the sensations washed over her, drowning her pleasantly in soft, soothing passion. He nuzzled her neck a final time, and then began to roll off of her, but Lily held tight.

"Don't leave me," she pleaded, her eyes squeezed tight together, as if afraid to see him go.

"Lils, I have to. It's not right to take advantage of you like this, when you're vulnerable like this," he whispered gently, not believing that he was about to pull away.

"Damn you, Potter, I am not vulnerable!' she whispered fiercely. Her tone softened. "And even if I was, I-I'm not doing this because I think you should be rewarded for being so sweet, or some other stupid, superficial notion. It just...It just feels…It's right. Everything's right. It's all perfect. I…I really want to do this. With you. Right now."

"Lily, I can't. You deserve flowers, and a candle-lit dinner, and dancing under the stars. I can't do this to you in a bed in a messy dorm room. It has to be special."

"But this is special, to me. All that matters right now is that I have you here. We can do the candles and the dancing and the flowers later. Please, James, I…I feel like I'm finally ready." The last sentence was whispered so softly that James might not have heard it, had he not a sixth sense dedicated to Lily alone.

He had worked hard to earn her trust. He wanted her, badly, in every way. But for the past six months, he had restrained himself, proceeding in baby steps, waiting for her to let him know that she was ready. He had been patient with her, considerate of her boundaries and respectful of her need for her own space, more so than most boys aged seventeen would've been.

And now, here she was, telling him she was ready, and he was pulling away. All of a sudden, he didn't know why. They loved each other, and they would marry one day, if James had anything to say about it, so why not?

"Lily," he murmured teasingly. "Lily, Lily, Lily, Lily, Lily, Lily. What you do to me."

He relented, to her and to his heart, resuming his kisses.

"James, James, James, James," she teased him back, happily. "I think you're the one who does everything to me."

They unwrapped each other, taking each layer off with care. Slowly, meticulously, they discovered each other. Lily was hesitant at first, but James coaxed responses out of her, teaching by example. He teased her with lips, fingers, teeth and tongue, bringing her to the edge of a world she had hardly explored. Lily watched colors burst behind her eyelids as the sensations that James evoked swept her away.

Through rumors and lies, James had built up quite a reputation as a player, looking only for more notches in his bedpost. It wasn't however, true. He was by no means a virgin, but he had only gone that far with a few girls that he had truly cared about. They all blew him off later, though, having gotten their claim-to-fame. They were nothing compared to Lily. The emotions she awoke in James ran deep, into the most secret places in his heart, a place reserved for her alone. And unlike the other girls, she treasured him, and the pieces of his heart that he entrusted her with.

She was glorious, spread out beneath him like a goddess. His goddess, to worship and defend. The soft moans and gasps that were given flight in the air were reward aplenty for the years he had spent adoring her.

Their movements were measured, urgent but deliberate. They moved together, entwined sweetly, their minds delirious with pleasure. They became one, pure in their rawest forms, loving in a primal dance old as humankind itself. It allowed for no reason, no hesitations, no regrets.

Afterwards, James rolled to her side, pulling her to his chest. Their breathing slowed together as both of them drifted off into sleep.

Lily opened her eyes again as James drew back, a soft smile gracing his features, matching the one that bowed Lily's lips. He regarded her for a moment from hazel eyes that seemed to see everything about her, every curve, every nuance. His eyes swept over her face. A little bit of the apprehensiveness returned to Lily, unaware as she was about his thoughts.

At that moment, he was thinking about how perfect she was for him. Her body was by no means skinny, but still graceful and yielding. He could easily see her as a mother. Of his child, of course. It would have to have her eyes, he decided. Any other mix of their facial features, but most of all her eyes. They were expressive, gorgeous eyes. He loved the soul that shone through them more than anything else in the world.

Right then, he could see that a miniscule amount of trepidation was worming its way into her thoughts. He leaned down and touched his nose to hers, hoping to expel the anxiety.

"Do you want some breakfast, Love?" She nodded, the smile on her face slowly transforming into a grin.

"Right, then, how do chocolate-chip pancakes sound? With strawberries and cream, of course." And just like that, the doubt was gone.

"Sounds delicious."

Fin