Disclaimer: I don't own anything created by JK Rowling. This story was inspired (read: "adapted" or "yoinked") from CosmoGirl! Magazine. Please don't sue. This story is also posted at (without the spaces and capital "O") with lyrics regarding the story. Enjoy!
Lily Evans sighed as she gazed out the window, and saw the first snow fall. It was the prettiest thing she had ever seen. The only shame was that she was stuck inside the classroom, and not playing outside with her friends.
And maybe James Potter.
Now, James Potter was a fickle thing to talk about, especially with Lily Evans. One could not speak about him with her without getting a reaction from her. During her first six years at Hogwarts, the reaction was always the same: revolted and infuriated. But now that it was her last year at Hogwarts, that same reaction had completely switched to another direction.
Yes, Lily Michelle Evans had finally fallen in love.
Long ago, that statement was laughable. However, years had passed, and Lily finally succumbed to her feelings. Oh, she gave a good fight; those years were filled with kicking and screaming, tears and anger. But all of things amounted to one thing: she had fallen in love with her worst enemy.
It had started out with a walk; a friendly laugh or two. The moments they spent together made Lily the happiest she had ever been. It was amazing that only a few years ago, the skinny, messy haired boy who had asked her out numerous times had become a very good-looking, mature man. And poor Lily had fallen for him. Hard. It was only a week ago when she realized that she had fallen in love with James, and now that he had grown up and stopped asking her out was when she wanted him the most. Fate was very cruel.
The sound of students packing up and their teacher's feeble attempts to issue more assignments jolted Lily out of her reverie. She gathered up all her books and rolled up parchment, and pushed her way out of the classroom. Her friend, Arabella Figg, better know as Bella, was waiting for her.
"There you are, Lils! I thought you were going to stay in there forever!" chastised Bella. She took out a compact to check her hair. Arabella was not the most beautiful girl anyone would meet, and she certainly wasn't the kindest person, either. She was just…in-between. And that's why Lily loved her. Arabella had been her sole confidant, and was the only one who knew about her feelings toward the elite James. It was only Arabella's confidence that gave Lily hope that she may still have a chance with the Marauder.
Lily giggled apologetically. "Sorry, Bella. I wasn't paying attention," she explained as she linked arms with her raven-haired friend and strolled down the busy hallway.
Arabella rolled her eyes. "Thinking about a certain Mr. Potter, were we?" She gave Lily a friendly shove, and Lily retaliated.
Lily sighed again. "I know this is going to sound so…mushy and revolting, but I can't stop thinking about him. It's like he invaded my brain or something. I swear, I'll go crazy before the holidays even begin!" Arabella remained quiet, and squeezed Lily's hand.
"Who knows, maybe something will happen," replied Arabella. She was gazing out the passing windows, watching the snow fall. She turned back to her friend. "After all, it's almost Christmas. And the first snow just fell. That's a sign." Lily smiled impishly.
"That's just a myth, Bella. Fallen snow doesn't mean anything," reasoned Lily in a quiet voice. She sighed again, and this time, Arabella didn't say anything. She just gave her friend a quiet smile.
They reached the Great Hall with anticipation. Since Christmas was almost here, the house elves had begun to cook and bake food only found during the Christmas time. The aroma made the girls' mouths water. They quickly found seats at the far end of the Gryffindor table.
"Hogsmede weekend!" squealed Arabella as she piled up on the yams. She passed the dish to Lily, who helped herself to a generous portion. "What are your plans? Babysitting Greer?" Almost every weekend, Lily would go to the village to baby-sit an adorable toddler, Greer. Her mother ran an inn, and it was always busy during the weekends. A few years ago, she had asked Lily to watch over the mischievous little girl on the weekends while she worked.
Lily nodded, and poured herself a glass of eggnog. She offered it to Arabella, who declined. "You know how busy this weekend will be at Hogsmede. Poor Sophia barely has any time to go Christmas shopping." Sophia was Greer's mother. "I'll probably take Greer Christmas shopping with me. It might be a bit troublesome, but I have no choice." Lily devoured the last yam, and reached over to get a Christmas cookie.
Arabella nodded. "I'll come with you guys." She primly wiped her mouth with her napkin, and discarded it on the table.
Lily flashed Arabella a smile. "Oh, that's so sweet of you! But you don't have to come. Really."
Arabella shrugged. "No, I'll come. Shopping by myself is the pits." She reached over for her book bag, and took out a novel and began reading. "So, who are you shopping for?"
Lily pushed back her plate, and took out a list. "You, Mum, Daddy, Petunia (Both girls made a face), Greer, Sophia, Professor Flitwick, Slughorn, McGonagall, Vector, Dumbledore, Kettleburn, Sinastra, my cousins Jennie and Michael, Caroline, Swede, Daphne, Remus, and, er…"
"James?" Arabella suggested slyly. Lily blushed.
"Well, he is my fellow Head, and he's helped me out a couple of times in Transfiguration, so it's the least I could do…" babbled Lily. "I mean, we're almost like friends, right? And what if he gets me a present? Oh, Bella, I – "
Arabella laughed. "Whoa, Lils! I've never seen you so worked out over something like this! Calm down." Lily took a deep breath. "I think it's sweet that you want to get him a present," she continued. "He'll really love it."
"You think?" perked up Lily. Her mood had changed from flustered to relieved back to anxious. "But what will I get him?" she moaned. Arabella knew that she would have kept on stressing out if three boys had not chosen the time to plop on the seat next to them.
"All right, Evans?" Sirius Black grinned, his pale grey eyes twinkling mischievously. His elegant onyx hair fell gracefully in front of his place, and a small group of third year Gryffindors squealed to themselves. He acted as if he didn't notice them.
"All right, Black," answered Lily flatly. "What do you want?" Black chuckled.
"Tut, tut, Evans. It's Christmastime! A time to let go of grudges and embrace your enemies," countered Black. "Be merry, and stop being the stuck-up, swotty bitch we know you are!"
"Why, I ought," Lily started, rising from her chair. Remus Lupin, who was sitting on her other side, lay a gentle hand on the volatile Head Girl.
"Calm down, Lily," he pleaded in a soft voice. "Sirius is right, you should relax and try not to attack anyone." As usual, the seventh year prefect had heavy bags under his dew colored eyes, and his sandy hair lay limp on his head.
Lily instantly calmed down, and she smiled. "You're right, Remus," rationalized Lily. "Even people like Black deserve a happy holiday, no matter how revolting he is."
"Hey, I resent that!" exclaimed Sirius. "You really hate me, don't you, Evans?"
Lily thought about this. "Not really," she admitted. "But you can be quite annoying, you know that, right?"
Black grinned. "Touché, Evans, touché," he propounded.
Peter Pettigrew, a chubby blue eyed cherub, peered at Lily's Christmas list. "What's that?"
Lily blushed, and stuffed the parchment back into her bag. "Just some Christmas shopping," she mumbled, sending a look of plea to Arabella.
Arabella laughed. "What are you three up to?" she asked the curious Marauders, trying to divert their attention.
Pettigrew shrugged. "Waiting for Pr -, er James. Dumbledore wanted to talk to him about something." He eyed Lily's unfinished Christmas cookie. "Are you going to eat that?"
Lily shook her head, feeling her skin redden at the sound of her co-Head. "Knock yourself out."
Remus examined Lily carefully. "Are you okay, Lils?" he inquired. "You look a little…flushed." Lily blushed even harder, and cursed her fair complexion.
"Erm…just had too much eggnog, I think," Lily covered up, sending daggers to her best friend, who was silently laughing at her.
Black exchanged an unreadable look with Remus. "Yeah, I'd be careful. The holidays are a time for the loonies to play their pranks," Black observed thoughtfully. "Anyway, Evans, what do you want for Christmas?"
"Well, I know for a fact that I don't want chocolate covered, wriggling worms, or a bucket of hippogriff dung," she declared dryly. "In fact, I think no present from you four will suffice." Well, except one from your attractive friend…
Peter finished engulfing the cookies from the plate. Arabella glared at him, shuddering as she glanced at the crumbles surrounding him. "I'm sure James thinks otherwise…" He was cut off by the numerous kicks aimed from under the table. "OW!" But this went unnoticed because Lily had reverted back to her blushing fits the moment she had heard his name again. Arabella sat through the whole thing, amused. They were interrupted by someone clearing their throat.
"What's going on?" questioned a bemused James Potter. He was conveying the scene with uncertainty, wondering if he had just entered a loony bin.
"Nothing!" chorused the mature seventh years. Lily hadn't stopped blushing, and was now the color of an overripe tomato. James' hazel eyes lingered on her longer than the others, and a slight blush had surfaced over his own cheeks.
"Oy, Prongs! Just talking to the fair lady, Lily," announced Black gleefully, scooting over so his friend could sit between him and Pettigrew. Lily was slowly recovering from her delicate "skin problem" ("It's a trifle bit warm in here, isn't it?") and swiftly kicked Black in the shin. "Ouch!"
"Where were you, Pro- James?" questioned Pettigrew as he nibbled on the cookie. He swept the crumbs under the table so neatly that even Miss Manners wouldn't have minded. "What did Dumbledore want with you?"
James shrugged offhandedly, accepting the goblet of cranberry juice Remus had passed him. "Oh, he just wanted to know what my plans were for this weekend. Can you believe it? He asked me to dress up as Father Christmas for the kids! He usually does it himself, but he can't make it this year. I'll spend the day at Hogsmede, having children on my lap, and listening to what they want for Christmas while Rosmerta takes a picture."
The "dressing up as Father Christmas" idea was borrowed from the Muggles. Dumbledore had one day stumbled over the idea when he was browsing for gifts at one of the biggest shopping districts in England by Oxford Street. He thought it was a rather brilliant idea, and introduced it to the Wizarding World. The children loved it, and the idea was officially adopted a year later.
Black had trouble picturing it. "You – Father – Christmas!" he gasped. "What has the world come to? James Potter, fellow Marauder, granting children's wishes? And let's face it, Prongs, there's hardly any meat on your bones. You're a scrawny little thing." James glared at him.
Arabella shot Black a patronizing look. "I think you'll make a wonderful Father Christmas, James," she soothed. "Right, Lily?" Lily once again turned red at the spotlight that was suddenly directed to her.
"Er, yeah," she mumbled, frantically looking around the table to distract her. The others didn't notice, except James, who was looking at her oddly.
"Are you okay, Lily?" queried James in a concerned voice. Lily jumped at the unfamiliar name usage. It was disturbing to address each other by their birth given names, and the way James said it…
"Earth to Lily!" called Arabella, jerking Lily out of her spacing out.
"What?" Lily blinked. She noticed that everyone was staring at her, and her cheeks flushed. "Sorry, I'm distracted right now…holidays coming up and all."
Remus nodded. "That's understandable. Our last Christmas here." He looked around. "It was just yesterday…"
"Lily?" A brown-eyed girl approached the Head Girl. Lily smiled at the timid sixth year.
"Oh, hello, Serra. Do you need anything?" Lily asked.
Serra nodded. "Well, I was wondering if you could help me with my Muggle Studies. I have a few questions to ask…"
"Sure, I'll help you," Lily replied, standing up. She turned to Arabella. "I'll see you later." Lily glanced at the boys. "See you guys later." As she walked away, she didn't see that someone was still watching her.
Later that night, Arabella found Lily in the girls' dorm, just spacing out with a textbook in front of her. "Lily? Are you okay?"
Lily jumped. "Oh, Bella, it's only you," she sighed, resuming to thumbing through her book. Seeing that was useless, she snapped the book closed, and surveyed Arabella. "What's up?"
Arabella frowned as she dropped her bag by her bed, and sat down by Lily. "You seem so fidgety. I've never seen you so stressed out before."
Lily moaned, and lay on her back. "I've never felt this way before! All I think about is him, and when ever I'm around him, I feel so stupid and shy when it's only James bloody Potter!"
Arabella chuckled as she stroked her friend's fiery tresses. "Oh, sweetie, you're just in love. That's normal." She absentmindedly started to braid Lily's hair. "You should tell him how you feel. That's the best thing to do."
"He doesn't like me anymore, Belle," mumbled Lily. She grabbed a pillow and pressed it against her face.
Arabella smiled, amused. "How do you know?" she asked softly. "He's liked you forever. It's impossible to get over a crush just like that." She snapped her fingers to make a point.
Lily sighed. "I've been a total bitch to him over the years. I've rejected him so many times in front of so many people, and gone out with guys so he would leave me alone. But he still kept asking me out, and I kept saying no. And now that I'm…falling for him, he's stopped asking me out. I don't blame him." She sighed again. "I'm such a cold, heartless bitch."
Arabella gave Lily a small hug. "Cheer up. Christmas is almost here! You're not a bitch, and James still likes you. But he's always made the first move ever since we got here. I think it's your turn to make the first move." And with that, Arabella left the dormitory, leaving Lily to think.
Lily sighed again, and played with a loose bit of string on her bedspread. Distractedly, she reached under her bed and pulled out last year's yearbook. She opened it to the page that had been dog-eared and glanced at so many times. A huge picture of James smiled at her, waving happily. On the opposite side, there was a smaller picture of herself and James, pushing him away. She fingered the picture, longing for the black haired wizard. She wanted him so much, it hurt.
Sighing, she glanced outside the window where the snow was softly falling. If I could have anything for Christmas…anything…I'd want him. But who can give him to me? Such a stupid idea. Even the greatest gift giver can't – . She stopped. It was a ludicrous idea, but it just might work…Saying a quick prayer, she got to work.
Saturday finally came. Lily quickly wolfed down some breakfast, and kept patting her pocket to see if it was still there. Arabella was watching her, an odd expression on her face. "Er, Lil? Are you okay?" she asked tentatively.
Lily nodded, swallowing a huge piece of toast. "I have to hurry, it's going to be so crowded today, and Greer…" She paused, gulping down some orange juice. "Will be waiting for me," she finished. "Are you still coming with us?"
Arabella nodded. "I'm not sure if I could eat as fast as you, but I'll try." She finished eating her pancakes. "Are you bringing Greer anywhere special?"
Lily shrugged offhandedly. "I might bring her to see Father Christmas," she replied casually.
Arabella nodded, and began to finish her pumpkin juice when she started to choke.
"Er…Bella? Are you okay?" Lily asked tentatively, passing her friend a napkin. "What, too much pulp in the juice?"
Arabella wiped off the drops of juice from her mouth and shook her head. "You're taking Greer to see Father Christmas? As in, James Potter?" There was an incredulous look on her face. "Lily? What are you up to now?" she asked suspiciously.
Lily shrugged again. "Nothing. I just think that all children should be able to talk to Father Christmas. It's part of your childhood."
Arabella's eyes narrowed. "Lily – " she began.
"Gotta go!" Grabbing her purse, she fled the Gryffindor table, almost knocking over a pair of fourth year Ravenclaws.
A few hours later, Lily was holding Greer's hand, and they were laughing, pointing out certain decorations and just enjoying each other's company. They stopped in front of a huge candy cane sign reading "North Pole." Lily chuckled. She doubted that anyone who hadn't grown up with Muggle traditions wouldn't understand what was going on. Squeezing the little girl's hand, Lily asked, "Do you want to take a picture with Father Christmas?"
Nodding, the small girl replied excitedly, "Yes!" Laughing, the two girls got behind the long line winding inside the "Winter Wonderland."
Lily's palms began to sweat as they inched closer to the Christmas throne, and the sounds seemed to disappear all around her as her heart pounded faster and faster. But there was no turning back now. Beside her, Greer was happily chatting to the little girl in front of them, so she didn't notice Lily at all.
When Greer's new friend finally had her turn with Father Christmas, Lily swallowed up her fear and turned to the little girl. "You know what to do, Greer?" she asked, trying to distract herself.
The little blonde nodded. "I go sit on Father Christmas' lap, and then I tell him about everything I want for Christmas!" she declared gleefully. She started dancing in circles, until Lily put a gentle hand on her shoulder, signaling her to calm down. "Oh, look, Lily! It's my turn!" she cried. Lily released the little girl, and watched as Greer plopped herself on "Father Christmas'" lap and chat away while Rosmerta took a picture of them.
After she was done, Greer ran over to Lily, clutching a five pound candy cane. "Lily! Are you going to sit on Father Christmas' lap?" she asked, wide eyed. Lily laughed, and nodded. "Okay, my friend Carrie is with her mum. Can I pretty, pretty, pretty please sit with them?"
"Sure," replied Lily, ruffling the girl's blond curls as she slipped Rosmerta some Sickles for the pictures. "Stay there. I'll be out in a second." Cheerfully, Greer ran off to the side.
"Ho, ho, ho! Who do we have here?" Father Christmas asked merrily when he heard someone approaching his throne. His hazel eyes widened when he saw who his next customer was. Lily gave him a small smile, and sat on his lap, which felt right.
"Smile!" cried Rosmerta as she snapped the picture. "Father Christmas" then turned Lily so that she was facing him.
"So…uh…what would you like for Christmas?" He really had grown up. Lily smiled sadly.
"Well, I haven't always been the best…person, you know. You see, there's this guy in my year who used to always ask me out and I always rejected him." 'Father Christmas' twitched then, but Lily ignored him. "And well…I don't want a lot for Christmas. Just one thing." She pulled out a picture of James. "I just want him for Christmas," she whispered. "I would be so happy if I knew he still wanted me back because I just realized how much I really like him."
"Lily," James began, but Greer's impatient screams interrupted him.
"LILY! I have to go to the bathroom, and Carrie really has to go home now!" screamed Greer from outside.
Blushing, Lily grabbed her purse before James or Rosmerta could stop her. "Lily! Wait!" called James, but it was too late.
After Greer "relieved" herself, they met up with Bella in front of Greer's house. "Hey, how did the pictures go?" asked Arabella, lugging tons of bags. She dropped a few at her feet, and pushed back her sweaty hair, the remaining bags swinging back and forth against her face.
"I talked to Father Christmas, and he said that I'm going to get the Sugar Quill Maker that I asked for!" Greer responded, jumping up and down. "See my picture? See?" She shoved the moving photograph in front of Bella's face.
"You look so cute, Greer," Bella smiled. "I have your present." She fished through one of her bags and pulled out a huge package. "There you go." Greer hugged Bella's waist, and shook the box.
Lily laughed, pushing Greer towards the door. "What do you say to Bella?"
"Thank you, Bella! Happy Christmas!" exclaimed Greer as she continued to examine the box and walk inside. "Thank you, Lily!" She hugged the redhead, and made her way inside the house, where her mother was waiting for her.
Sophia gave Lily her money and a present. "Thank you, Lily, for being such a great help. Happy Christmas!"
"Thanks, Sophia," thanked Lily gratefully. With a final wave, the two seventh years made their way back to the castle.
"Let me see your picture, Lily!" pleaded Arabella as they crunched through the snow.
Lily's emerald eyes widened. "Oh, no! I forgot to take it!" Arabella rolled her eyes.
"Damn. This would've been the first picture with you and James that doesn't involve you hitting him numerous times," sighed Arabella.
"Shut up," grumbled Lily, as they pushed the huge wooden doors open. "Bella? I'm going to take a walk around the Lake. Tradition, you know." Arabella nodded, and the two girls separated.
The sky was clear, and the stars were like diamonds in the sky, twinkling like…James' eyes. Lily sighed. She really had made a fool of herself.
Her feet made footprints behind her as she crunched around the snow. Snow had stopped falling long ago, and the Lake had frozen over. Amused, Lily wondered if the Giant Squid was frozen under all the ice. Sighing softly, her breath a smoky mist around her, Lily gingerly sat down on a huge stone, which she had brushed off all the snow off.
She drank in the beauty of winter, the brisk wind brushing her face. The night was truly silent, truly her gift from nature, her… "Lily?"
Spinning around, Lily turned to see the very man who had been occupying her thoughts. "Oh, hi, James." Her heart was beating faster and faster, breaking the silence.
James walked over to her and took off his cloak. "Here," he said, wrapping it around her shoulders. "You must be really cold."
"Thanks," Lily whispered.
They just sat there, not saying a word. James shifted around, and took something out of his pocket. "Here," he said softly, placing a small envelope on Lily's lap. "I think you forgot this."
Her fingers numb, Lily opened the envelope and took out the picture she and James had taken earlier that day. "Thanks," she said again, in the same soft voice. She unknowingly shivered, and knew it wasn't from the wind.
James hesitated, and then put his arm around Lily. Reaching for something in his pocket again, he dangled a beautiful diamond heart necklace in front of Lily's face. "Didn't you hear?" he breathed. "Father Christmas asked me to deliver your present for him." That said, he kissed Lily Evans with all the love the world could ever hold.