Summary: She's heard it all her life, but somehow, it sounds different on James's lips.
You see the little boy at the playground in the faded overalls sneering at you, as you stumble back and back. His mocking voice tears through you, as you struggle to hold back those burning tears that are begging to come out. They always seemed to find new nicknames for you, and sometimes, you wondered why they did this to you. What had you ever done to them?
Stuffing these thoughts deep in your mind as you have become used to, you glare at him, as well as your six year old self can. You can't help but notice your face reddening, with perhaps a blush or of pure fury. In this moment, you feel as if you have never felt more hatred for a human being, more hatred for anything at all.
Furiously, you gesture at him with a certain finger, which you saw these older boys give each other the day before. Which of course, you have no idea means, except that it means something bad. He looks stunned and screams out, "Lily used the finger!" The other kids around them turn their gazes away from what they were doing and gasp in a unison and you hear whispers all around you. You open your mouth to retort. But then the little boy starts laughing, something that the crowd uneasily picks up, the way children do. They do not know why, but they only know that in the play of life, this is their line to laugh so cruelly that you feel the bite in your mind so many years later.
You're funny when you're mad.
There goes Petunia once again, her rant about how you ruined her "popularity" at school because you went there on your first day of primary school and blew your lungs out at this girl who thought it would be funny to pull your long hair down when you weren't looking. Naturally, when you tried to stand up, you found your back painfully hit against the top of the chair. At snack, you then proceeded to call her an idiot which made her flush and retort by calling you carrot top.
And if there wasn't one name you couldn't stand, it was carrot top.
You feel your face grow heat with anger. Sputtering, you manage the retort through clenched teeth. Arse. A quiet rumble goes throughout the crowd that is slowly forming around you. She looks at you with hot fury in every muscle of her face.
And suddenly, you hear a faint laugh in some region of the people near you. The laugh picks up, until you think your head would split with the raucous noise around you.
Her mouth opens.
You're funny when you're mad.
You walk into the Great Hall of Hogwarts for the first time, eyes wide with wonder. A girl behind you whispers something about the ceiling to her friend, and in response to this comment, you lift your eyes from the people before you. And you see the beautiful night sky above it, so close, that you feel that you can touch it if you reach enough. The quiet brunette who you sat with on the train suddenly finds her ability to speak about something more than the weather as she begins to chatter on and on about the different Houses. Somehow, you find her incessant words soothing in a way, calming you.
The names come closer and closer to your name, as you realize your hands are sweating profusely. Wiping your hands on your skirt, you change your footing, realizing that every centimeter of skin that is out on the open is sweating openly. Completely stunned, you see a small puddle of sweat appear beneath you and the girl behind you starts giggling. Glaring at her, you begin to see in complete fear that the puddle was growing. This had never happened to you, you thought, what was going on?
As you heard the name, Lily Evans, you prayed to whatever God there was that this continuous sweat would stop as you walked up. You heard laughs start to appear at the table closest to the left, the one with the color green slathered all over it. More and more laughs appear, until it appears as if the whole room is in an enormous uproar. Your face flushes as you struggle to hold back tears, completely confused.
This is when you noticed the thin line of water that you realize is your own sweat that followed your path away from the other first years, as they all struggle to contain their laughter. There's a sudden image of yourself, looking remarkably like a raisin, when you realize that only magic, the idea that has proved to be real in your mind only a few months ago, could have done this. Noticing a duo at the back which didn't even try to stop laughing, you realize that it was them who somehow made you do this, through some intuition that you've gained through the years. There are mischievous smiles on their faces as they howl and fury pounds through you.
Stepping toward them briskly, while the people at the tables only laugh harder, you slap the messy haired boy as hard as you can. The noise is heard throughout the room as the boy appears stunned and you glare with all the ferocity you have inside of you. Thank heavens for baseball you think, as you remember those days you played with the boys down the lane at the park. Meanwhile, you continually tell yourself, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry.
He appears to be stunned as he grasps his almost scarlet cheek. Trying not to smirk at the sight of him, he whispers something softly to you.
You overcome your shock as you tremble with your anger, your eyes still stinging with the effort of holding back those tears of humiliation. And then you retort with the one word you've promised never to use unless in a time when her anger was like this.
Furiously, his smirk disappears as his own glare appears. Then you realize your face is scarlet, your eyes are shining with tears, and you're trembling so madly that one might think that you should be in a mental hospital. You pray that he isn't going to say the words you know he is.
You're funny when you're mad.
Glaring, your Fourth year self chases after a laughing James Potter, as you desperately try to catch your Transfiguration homework before he either burns it up or tears it up. He runs faster than you, but not by very much, and with a few choice hexes, you could easily catch up to him. His legs become jelly in a moment as he wobbles back and forth clutching your homework.
Grabbing it from him, you breathe hard for a moment and run off, before that Sirius Black catches up and frees him. Before you make it to the second corridor, you hear the stomping of feet behind you as well as some laughs that you know very well. Making it to the girl's bathroom, you slam the door, knowing that this is the one place that they would never come in. Frowning, you look at your watch, you realize that you have around half an hour before your next class.
Waiting, you sit on a toilet reviewing one of your textbooks, being the good studious girl you are. When it comes that there's ten minutes to make it up two stairs, you sigh and pray that Sirius and James have little patience. You open the door cautiously, frowning, when you see nothing in front of you. There's something inside of you that warns you of something, but as you look back and forth, you see that there's no one that you can see.
You walk down the corridor, you almost make it top the stair that goes up to the third floor when you feel your bag being opened. Mouth agape, you see your essay running away from you as a scream goes up your throat. Held in laughter appears out of no where, but you notice suspiciously that it's in the direction that your essay's heading. Pretending to go up the stairs, you turn swiftly and say softly, "Stupefy!" right at your essay and is completely overcome with surprise when the essay stops moving.
Walking closer, you reach for your essay, when you feel something in your way, something soft. Pulling it off, you nearly accidentally punch Sirius Black in his face with the shock of seeing someone appear out of no where. You turn your gaze slowly toward the cloak you're holding.
An Invisibility Cloak.
"Wh-Where did you-ou get this-is?"You sputter, realizing that you're holding one of the most prized items in the Wizarding world in your hands. He smirks and makes a move for it when you quickly block. Repeating the question with more confidence, you notice the sudden spark of mischief in his eyes. The Invisibility cloak is pulled out of your hand as you see James Potter too late.
"I'll be taking that, Evans." Laughing, he makes a move to free Black, when you grab your essay and attempt to leave as fast as you can. Looking down at your watch, you are furious to notice that you're late for Charms, your favorite class. You sigh, knowing that you can't make it in time, and that Flitwick will let you off, because you've never ditched before and that you're his favorite student. Turning on your heel, you head off toward Professor McGonagall before either of the two boys can say a word, completely intent on reporting these two boys. They catch up to you, with the mischievousness out of their eyes and something of fear in their eyes.
"Do anything! Just don't-"
The last word is said in unison as you move past them, knowing that they would be in an enormous amount of trouble if McGonagall found out that they had an Invisibility Cloak. Foolish boys, you think, you've just told me your weakness. Potter, much taller than you, steps in front of her and attempts to block you.
"Evans, I'll even go out with you!"
Raising your eyebrow, you say, "And why would I want to do that, you insufferable git?" He gapes for a moment, at seeing a girl not want to date him. Though he wasn't very much to the ladies, as the two liked to charmingly call every female with a nice arse that passed them, when they noticed Sirius Black, he still had something of a fan club. And anyway, it was typical for some girls to date James just to get closer to Sirius.
Glaring, you pass him, when you hear Sirius chortle and James hissing, "Shut up!" His face has something of a blush on it, as he mocks, "Oi¸Carrottop!" You turn around, unable to resist his challenge.
"What did you just call me??"You hiss loudly as the two boys suddenly exchange a smirk, ignoring your death glare.
"Hey James, it's a walking carrot."
However lame it was, you make a move toward them when they suddenly caught sight of you, looking at you as if for the first time, and starting falling on the floor, laughing their eyes out.
Barely making the words out through their laughter, you hear those disdainful words that you've heard throughout your life.
You're funny when you're mad.
Reading your book, you wander aimlessly throughout the castle, while lighting your prefect badge which you've had for the second year in a row. And you knock in a boy and you somehow know who it is.
James fucking Potter.
Muttering an apology, you pass him only to have him grab your shoulder rather painfully. This time however, you aim a glare right at him. He smiles at you, a rather warm one, considering all the things you've said to him over his lifespan.
"What?" You say quite chillily. He returns your coldness with another smile, something that infuriates you.
"Will you go-"
"NO." You yell so loudly, his grin falls. There's a slight flash of hurt in his eyes but you dismiss it as something he made up to gain your sympathy toward him. He slowly walks away, the confident stride barely still in his steps. With a sudden wave, you feel such guilt that you almost want to chase him down and ask him to forgive you. But you push it down as you've done so many times, convincing yourself that he's only doing this for the challenge to get Lily Evans, bitch extraordinaire.
Feigning anger, you march toward the common room and open the portrait. You slump into a seat and glare into the fireplace. The portrait door slams open as a very snow covered James Potter strides in anything but a secure manner. He looks around and notices you. Before he even gets ready to come near you, you suddenly forget all your guilt and yell, "NO."
Without the cool demeanor he usually carries around you, he snarls back, "I wasn't going to ask you, Evans. I was just going to sit near the fireplace, away from you. Can you just stop being a bitch for once? I don't need your shit right now." You fake nonchalance as you reel back in your mind from him being actually not nice to you. He's always been kind to you and you fear that you've gotten used to this feeling.
There's a deadly silence in the common room as many, even the seventh years, raise their heads to see you and him argue.
"I'm being the bitch? Who's the one that struts around Hogwarts, acting like he owns the bloody place," you say while standing up, realizing how weak you sound. He raises his eyebrow.
He coldly replies, with nothing but hate etched on his face, "For one thing, I don't strut. And I think you're the one that needs to look right back in the mirror. At least I don't go giving detentions out for people that walk too quickly past you. You act like a bloody wannabe McGonagall."
"I don't! And I don't hex people for no reason, other than that they have a green badge on their robes." You glare, feeling the heat of the argument rise.
When he doesn't reply, you continue on, "I can't see what all these girls want in you. You're arrogant, rude, temperamental, disrespectful, cruel, and egotistical. I feel bad for your mother, having to deal with someone like you for three whole long months of the year."
His face begins to grow stony and you immediately want to take back what you said. Stepping toward you, you feel a twinge of fear as you notice his fists clench. Sirius, you notice, begins to go closer to James.
"James. We don't hit girls." He says quietly, but it obvious that James's too mad to care.
"Take that back Evans." His voice, normally full of warmth for you, is completely cold, the same tone he uses toward Severus Snape.
You ignore this warning and hiss, "No." It's strange; you're not exactly angry, but refusing to step down from him even though you know that you shouldn't have said that.
James says once more, "Evans, take that back before I hurt you." Your eyes widen as rage begins to boil in you. Stepping back, you repeat your previous answer. With a sudden movement, he grabs your collar and pushes you up against the wall. You struggle against him, your feet flaying uselessly.
"Don't you ever go insulting my mother, Evans. Call me egotistical, call Sirius a manwhore, but don't you dare say anything about my mother. And I thought you were the one that told me not to judge." He's so full of rage and you feel your face turning so very red. Hate emanates through you as he lets you go with extreme effort.
He continues, "You know what Evans? I think I've had enough of you. All you do is call me arrogant and egotistical and assume you're Little Miss Perfect. You're not. You're just as prideful as me and just as stubborn. I've never seen a person more fake in my whole life. I haven't done anything to you do deserve what you've said to me. You had the nerve to say shit about my mother. Even Snape's never said anything about her; you've gone lower than a Dark Arts fanatic, Evans. 'Cause in case you didn't know, my mother is dead. You-you bitch."
You gape as he storms into his dorm. Trembling, you suddenly feel the gathering of tears in your eyes and you march up to your dorm, not wanting anyone to see this moment of weakness. The door opens slowly as you look up from your hands to see Faye, your best friend. She smiles at you weakly and sits next to you on your bed, your head on her shoulder. You've never felt this low before, never ever. From between your sobs, you ask softly, "Am I really as bad-ad as he says? I-I didn't know about his mo-mother. "
She shakes her head and says, "Trust me, he'll be fine tomorrow."
And for the first time, you hear Faye lie so horribly that even you can catch it.
You hear the door open another time and see another girl in your dorm. She whispers to you, "Sirius Black wants to see you."
You glare through your red rimmed eyes and glare at her. "Don-n't let him in-n." However, Sirius Black comes through, holding his broom. Faye motions for him to leave.
"Faye, I need to speak to Evans alone. And no, I won't hit her. Even though she deserves it." She gives me a look that tells me that I need to deal with this and she leaves, leaving the door open slightly. Your sobs have ended by now and you thank Merlin.
He paces for a moment and comments, "That was real low of you Evans."
"I know, Black. You don't have to make me feel worse."
"Oh, does Evans the ice queen have a heart?"
"Shut it Black. Just leave if you want to insult me."
"Fine. I'll stop. But, you know you shouldn't have said that to James. Even if his mum was alive."
"I KNOW. Now can you stop with the guilt trips?"
"But the point is. Don't go near James these days, I don't know what he'll do. And trust me, your days of having to deal with him asking you out are over."
"That was quite obvious. Was that all you came to say?"
"No. If it wasn't my best friend you were yelling at, I wouldn't have barely been able to resist saying that you're funny when you're mad."
And for the first time in your life, you crack a grin at these words.
You sit in your Head dorm, checking over your essay and you hear the door crack open. Looking toward the door, you see a very tired James Potter, still dressed in his robes.
"Er…Lily? Could I borrow your Charms notes?" He asks cautiously, knowing of your mood swings and how physically damaging they often can result.
Raising your eyebrows, you ask, "And why should I, when you were too busy chatting with Mabel Elliot? You could've paid attention and taken notes." He grins cheekily, as you remember how he flirted with her so openly that you felt sick. As you gaze at him, you can't help but feel heat rise on your cheeks.
You know that something's wrong with you these days. All day, you can only think of a certain cologne and a quaffle flying in dizzying, yet perfect, motions out of your head. Back and forth, it almost becomes a mantra in your head that sends your head into clouds. It's strange, but suddenly, in the middle of Potions, you smell fresh fall air, the same scent that comes in everytime James returns from Quidditch practice. Even your dreams are becoming littered with James Potter, littered your mind calls it, immersed your heart calls it. You don't dare tell anybody, not even Faye, because you can't let go of wanting to defend your reputation as the only Potter hater in Gryffindor. Or at least, the only open Potter hater.
You've always understood that James Potter was handsome. It wasn't like Sirius's harsh beauty that sent many girls averting their eyes in an instant, openly staring, whispering and giggling into their friends' ears, or suddenly doing the strangest things. No, it was something different. Often, when you think he's not looking, you peek at him and desperately try to escape that mass of swirling ocean that some call eyes. And sometimes, you realize that your conversations are becoming flirting matches and out of the corner of your eyes, you see their amused grins that seem to say, I always knew that they would be together.
He doesn't notice or care, you tell yourself. And he's over you anyway. After that shouting match, it seems, his passion for you has evaporated and as far as he's concerned, the most you and him will ever be will be friends. He's reverted back to his attempts to find a girlfriend for keeps, where the girls often last a month before he dumps them. As far as you know, he's not dating anyone. And then you realize that you know who he's dating now, something that you never used to care about.
What was happening to you?
You press these thoughts down and hear his response. "Puh-lease Lily? I'll do anything." The puppy-dog look in his eyes has stopped working since 3rd year, but he continues to use it.
Sighing, you put on your best McGonagall face and reply, "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter, but I am currently busy. You may leave now, before you receive a detention." He raises his eyebrow at your poor imitation of the famous professor and he smirks.
"Don't try to act like McGonagall; you might get it right someday and end up wearing a glare for the rest of your life." You laugh at this, but your mind suddenly reverts back to the argument you had in Sixth year, the horrible one that still causes you guilt. Apparently, his thoughts were the same and an awkward silence fell in your dorm. He moves to leave when you yell out, "I'm sorry!"
Looking surprised and then uncomfortable, he shifts toward your bed, away from the door.
"Lily, its fine. I'm over it. We were just both angry, and everyone says things they don't mean when they're mad."
Sighing, you notice that your fingers are sweating and heartbeat has increased rather rapidly just by his presence. Out of the corner of your eye, you see him stand up again and begin to leave when you whisper so softly that you yourself can barely hear yourself:
"Don't leave, James." He sits down once more, completely confused at your behavior and gives you a questioning look as he gazes around your room. Finally, you turn around from your forgotten essay and sit next to him on your bed. He looks at you in surprise; after all, it's only been a few months since you stopped yelling at him for even sitting within a five foot radius of him.
Oh, you want to tell him everything you've been feeling: your friends are falling from that bastard Voldemort, your grades are slipping, and everything's wrong with you. It suddenly occurs to you that he's the only reason why you still act as there's nothing wrong in your life. Tears suddenly gather in your eyes, and you want them to go away. He doesn't notice because he's looking around your room, not watching you as he used to.
Sometimes you want the old James back, the one that would ask at the slightest frown if she was all right in that cocky way that only he could do. But it's too late for that. He turns to look at you and visibly moves away at the sight of your tears. You move your hands to cover your eyes, and he begins to look more and more uncomfortable.
"I think…I think…" You start, but can't complete the sentence out of perpetual fear. Why did you even start, you scream at yourself.
He says, "I think?" Shaking your head, you want words to come out, not for you to act like some two year old who can't even talk properly. You breathe in twice and say something that you realized just at the moment.
"I think I fancy you."
You can't tell his emotions from the emotionless mask that falls, but you want to shrivel up and die at the moment. You don't fancy him, you tell yourself, but it's all in vain. In a moment, you dash out the door, tears falling openly. Suddenly, you wish you were stronger, so you wouldn't have to feel this way about everything. But you can't help it; you've never been more embarrassed in your life. That was the stupidest thing you think you've ever done, just blurting it out like that.
A hand clenches your wrist as you see James Potter looking in a way that you can't quite identify.
He says, "Say it again, Lily." Your eyes widen as you try to release yourself from his strong grip in a wave of panic, but it's useless, which you very well know.
"I…think I fancy you," you say, and his grip falters and you make a run for it. He's faster than you and clutches both your wrists within four seconds flat. It's so intense, his stare, and you want to disappear.
You're standing in the middle of your common room, and you're so scared, so very scared.
He pushes you onto a nearby couch and you fall into it, his rage becoming apparent.
James says in quiet anger, "It's a bit late for that, Evans." You flinch at his use of your last name, and he ignores you. "I spent half of my Hogwarts years pining after you, and when I stop, you go ahead and tell me that you fancy me. This is all shit, all shit." You try to slip away from him, but before you can make it two steps away from the couch, he yells, "LISTEN TO ME." Shrinking into the sofa, your tears come in bigger and bigger rushes.
His voice gets louder with every word. "Do you know what you've done to me? I finally gave up, you fucking—I can't even think of a word to describe you. It took me this whole damn year, and now you say you fancy me? Just go away and leave me alone." You follow his words, and you almost reach the doorway, when he takes your shoulder and flips you to face him.
You're so puzzled when he says while breathing rather hard, "I didn't mean that. I'm just…so confused with you." He's like a girl on her period, you think. In fact, you've never seen even a girl act this way. You watch him as he clutches his head in his hands.
"You gave up on me, right? I…I just need to know." You say, hating yourself for taking these words right out of a romantic novel you've been hiding in your room for a few months.
He turns away and says, "I…don't know." There's silence between you and him for a few hours, you think. It's getting louder and louder until you can't stand it.
You stare into his hazel eyes, and oh no, you're drowning again and there's nothing to save you this time. A finger reaches up to touch the soft skin between his eyes, and his eyes turn toward you wildly. You feel like you have no control over your finger as it traces down his nose, a few loops around his cheeks, over his lips. His eyes darken a few hues, and he take an arm around your back and pulls you close to him.
Friction, he moans deeply, and you take your finger off his face. Blushing, you look away, trying to stomp down the feelings that you can't get out. It's then that you realize he's bending down his face and suddenly, his lips cover yours. It's like nothing you've ever experienced but it's so incredible that you feel as if you've touched the moon itself. There's liquid fire raging through you, and you return it with more passion than you knew you had.
"God—god. You're so beautiful, Lily." You suddenly feel a burst of anger toward him for making you feel this way, and you won't admit that you like it. Flushing, you try to push him away, but he's too strong. A grin appears on his face.
He says, "You're so beautiful when you're mad."