Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to the word 'eleventy' and everyone who knows what it means.
Warning: Fluff rating of eleven out of ten, sorry.
Lily Evans let one tear slide down her rosy cheeks, and fall into the lake, just to be another drop of water in it's continuous depths, never to make any more than the tiniest ripple on it's steely surface. That was just how she felt. That her sorrows with James Potter, no matter how huge they seemed to her, would have no real effect, in the long run. The ripples she formed on the surface would fade, quickly enough. There were much larger problems to be dealt with; problems more immense than the giant squid, or the castle of the merpeople, which all existed in the lake.
Troubles that had much more to do with the question of whether the sun would rise again tomorrow, whether innocent people would die, or whether the war could be won by the good side- or whether the war could be won at all.
All of these fell under the category which was much higher than whether she would have someone to accompany her down the halls, hand in hand, or attend the grand ball with her when they graduated at the end of the May.
At the moment, however, her romance dilemmas seemed like the end of the world; as did one romance in every teenage girls life. Lily Evans, head girl, brightest witch of her age, poised and filled kindness felt, utterly and completely stupid.
She thought she had known what he was really like. Lily had always regarded herself a good judge of character before everything else.
But with him…she had been wrong. She had thought she had been spot on; he was an arrogant, self-centred jerk, however, she knew now that she was blinded, blinded by her determination to be right.
He had his moments, of course, as every teenage boy did, but she had never delved behind that, no matter how many people told her that she should. Never, in her seven years in the castle had she taken the time of day to get to know James Potter.
But he knew her. He knew her favourite colour was pastel green, and she liked to listen to muggle rocks bands when she was at home for the summer, despite the rumour that she only enjoyed classical tunes. Potter knew that she wore raspberry lip-gloss, and sprayed vanilla perfume in front of her every morning, before walking gracefully through the mist. James Potter knew that her middle name was Jane, her sister had a horrible grudge against her, he knew the way she had snuck down to Hagrid's hut in her third year, every night, and taught him magic, even though it was against the law, as well as the school rules. He knew that her favourite book was Pride and Prejudice, that she loved walking on the beach, that she sung Beatles songs in the shower, and that she wore fluffy pink slippers with tiny black bows gracing the toes.
James Potter knew her inside out. Back to front. He knew her for who she was, and not for the pretty, composed figure she presented to the rest of the world.
Many of these details might have been considered the material of a stalker, and many could argue that that was what James Potter was, Lily being the first to admit that this had been her view, for the longest of times. She had sighed, and screamed, and used more curses than she could count on him, each time he asked her out, whether he did it on the Gryffindor table wearing nothing but boxer shorts, or on the top of the astronomy tower, donned in his very best dress robes.
Now she knew better.
Lily didn't know what had made her see the sweet side of him. Maybe she had always known that it was there, and the irony was that she just hadn't been able to see it until now.
It had been that day, however, when she had felt like an icy fist had clenched around her heart, and pulled it painfully. She had been watching James, from across the classroom, and he wasn't doing anything at all. That was the difference. In fact, when Lily tried to remember the last time James Potter had done anything in class, she had to really strain her memory. In past years, when they had been in the proximity of any teacher, or any Slytherin, or even rouge Hufflepuff or even in the presence of a particularly cocky Ravenclaw, James couldn't help himself but curse them, or make himself the complete centre of attention. In the last six moths, however, she had no recollection whatsoever of James doing anything out of the ordinary, or looking for glory of any sort.
At the moment Lily had glanced at James, he had working vigorously, as McGonagal strode up and down the aisles between the rows of desks, peering over their work intently. When she passed Lily she gave a little murmur of impressment, and she gave James a curt nod, which he returned with a grin. Lily hadn't noticed the change, and she didn't know when it occurred, but there was another thing, too;
He hadn't asked her out since they had returned to the school.
While pondering on this, Lily failed to notice that her eyes were still lingering on Potter's intense face- the curved line of his brow as he read over the questions, the grimace his mouth made as he formed an answer; the way that he adjusted his wire rimmed glasses on his nose and began to write.
Lily forgot whom she was staring at; in fact, she forgot that she was staring at all, and for a while it was just her, and James Potter, and nothing else really mattered.
Lily jumped slightly in her seat as James Potter's eyes rose form the paper, and he looked over at her; perhaps feeling her stare on his profile, and gave her a small smile. It wasn't really a happy smile, but a sincere one, all the same.
But he didn't wink.
He didn't even try to wink, with the pretence that he had something stuck in his eye.
Both his eyes remained firmly and evenly opened, and for that, Lily was shocked.
Lily had looked back down at her own paper, quickly, noticing that she must be miles behind everyone else, whose quills had continued to scratch away the entire time that she was gazing at Potter.
Placing her quill on the paper, Lily, too, began to write, though not many words came out. Disjointed sentences were all that she could seem to produce while her mind was still confused, across the room, and racing backwards through time as she tried to remember the last time she had had to tell Potter off for being annoying and obnoxious.
It wasn't until she was leaving the room, after having spied McGonagal's disappointed expression as she scanned over Lily's work, did it hit her;
The last time she had screamed at James Potter had been on the Hogwarts Express, as they had made their way back to the castle, after the Christmas Holidays.
Lily was already in a bad mood; spending three months living without magic in a world where she was looked down upon by her sister and her over weight boy friend was not great therapy for her feisty temper, and she had found the way to vent it the moment she stepped onto the train, her Head Girl Badge pinned proudly to her chest.
"Hello Evans." James Potter smiled, standing up as she entered the heads carriage, near the front of the train, which was reserved especially for the head boy and girl to sit, and address the Prefects. He gestured to the window seat, in which he had been sitting before she had entered.
"Here," he said, holding out a hand, "Let me take Grace for you, I'll set her near the-"
"What are you doing here Potter?" Lily cut him off mid sentence, not bothering to ask how he knew her owl's name. "This is the heads carriage, you're not meant to be here-"
"Of course I am." James said, beaming, "Haven't you heard? I'm the new head boy."
He was grinning at Lily, excitedly, Lily didn't crack a smile.
"What?" she stated, bluntly, before giving a slight chuckle. "James, how could you be head boy? Last year you bewitched snowballs to follow the head boy and bounce off his back. When you were thirteen you bewitched his badge to read 'Humungous Buttocks."
James still stood, smiling at her, as though daring her to prove him wrong. She noticed the sun glint catch on the badge, which was pinned to his amply toned chest, and deflated.
"How the bloody hell did you get that?" she asked, sighing.
James' eyes dropped, and his shoulders slumped, as he realised how much Lily really despised him.
"It arrived in the mail. Along with a letter informing me of my new position."
"No Potter, seriously, have you stowed Remus away in a cupboard somewhere? Is he out the back with the luggage, or what? Because the jokes over…"
"What joke?" James asked, angry now, "I'm head boy! It's not a joke, I'm serious, I wouldn't be here if I wasn't!"
"James Potter, when in your life have you EVER been serious?" Lily asked viciously, her voice rising dangerously.
"I've been serious with you so many times I can't even remember!" James yelled back, disappointment buried into every crevice of his voice. "I've been serious every time I told you that I-"
"No you haven't James! Your one walking joke, and we all know it! You thrive on it! You wouldn't be able to live if everyone didn't feed you with their laughter! You wouldn't be able to exist if you didn't have your little fan club of girls and band of rule breakers to hold your back and make you feel like a king!"
Lily was red in the face now, and strands of hair had fallen out of her sleek twist, which had her hair pinned at the back of her head, gracefully. James looked as though he had been slapped in the face.
"I don't want to hear it James, because if you really HAVE been made Head boy then I don't know what the schools coming to! Maybe you could introduce a new award! The James Potter Trophy for hexing innocent people, or the JP memorial award, for the most arrogant student!"
James was siting now, not looking Lily in the face, staring out the window, watching as the station began to creep out of sight, and the train snaked around the corner. McGonagal would be bringing in the prefects soon, and they would both have to put on a civil face for them.
Lily noticed James was no longer facing her, and took the seat he had left her, across from him, in the corner, her arms folded tightly against her chest, and her hair curling over her face.
By the time this memory had rolled itself over in Lily's brain, she had reached the Gryffindor Tower. Her face must have shown shock, because the Fat Lady in the portrait that guarded the common room gave her a fearful glance.
"Are you alright dear?" she asked, cocking her head to one side, "You don't look well."
For a moment Lily wondered whether she had been slipped a love potion. Was that why she was feeling sick, and her stomach was tied in painful knots? Maybe it had been badly brewed.
If she knew Potter, then she wouldn't put it past him to have slipped something into her pumpkin juice at lunchtime…
But did she really know Potter anymore?
There was only one explanation, Lily had thought, as she entered the common room and glanced over at James, Sirius, Remus and Peter, surrounded by adoring girls at the fire in the common room, he must have realised that day that I was a wild, angry person, and that he must have been crazy to dote on me for all these years.
The thought crept into her head and scourged her thoughts, making her groan at the irony.
She stood, watching him from across the room, realising what many others had already known; her closest friends included; that she, Lily Evans, was in love with James Potter.
James looked up, perhaps feeling her looking at him again, and getting suspicious, but if he was, he didn't show it. He cocked one eyebrow for a moment, and then frowned, turning his back in her direction, and talking to his friends again.
The grin that had slid onto Lily's face upon eye contact hit the floor immediately.
Lily couldn't stay in the common room anymore. She couldn't even stay in the castle. Sure that she was finally going crazy, Lily walked swiftly out the door again, heading down the corridor amid angered cries from the fat lady, badgering her about her abrupt comings and goings.
And that was when she had ended up by the lake.
The sun was just beginning to go down, and Lily knew that she shouldn't be down on the school grounds at this time of night, especially with the new security measures placed over the castle since the uprising of Voldermort.
The temperature was too icy for her to dangle her toes into the water, so Lily had tucked her feet to the side of her, her robes falling gracefully over her delicate frame and over the grass.
For the longest time she sat there, letting the bad memories she had of James Potter float out over the lake, never to be recalled again, and, in his absence, the good moments they had shared- rare as they were- were all that Lily could think about. When she had gotten the owl telling her that her father had been killed, and James had been there to hold her, even though she had never thanked him for even being there, nor told anyone that he was present in the owlery at that time. The time that she had found the single white Lily resting on her pillow, with no note, nor hope of redemption. It was an anonymous act of kindness, that had undoubtedly been sent by Potter, though he had never looked for any attention, so Lily had presumed that they came from another source. He had grown up, as she had told him too, and he didn't seem to want anything to do with her now.
Lily felt someone take a seat beside her. She saw their reflection in the resolute water; an inky blur in it's surface, muffled and staggered, so that she couldn't distinguish anymore than the fact that it was a male.
Lily's heart pounded. He hadn't said anything yet. For a second she let her hopes soar inside her, hoping that it was Potter sitting beside her in the grass, waiting for her apology.
Needless to say her hopes were dashed substantially when Sirius' Blacks voice drifted into her ears, making her look up and face his deep black eyes.
"You alright Evans?" he asked, a small, yet worried smile playing on his lips, "Not like you to go wandering at night."
Lily laughed ruefully, and leaned back a little. They were siting about a metre apart.
"I'm guessing that there is a lot that you don't know about me then Sirius." she said, with a sad version of a grin. Sirius stopped smiling.
"Not really." Sirius commented, looking out over the top of the lake. "I grew up with James you see, I know you a little better than you think."
Sirius chuckled to himself, recalling the endless, painful, Lily centred conversations. Lily's voice staggered in her throat upon the mention of James' name, and she tried to hide the new emotion that was coursing through her veins, with no avail.
"Now that's not right." Sirius said, frowning.
Lily drew her hands away from examining her hands, and faced Sirius once again, noticing his downward curved mouth, and his furrowed brow.
"What's not right?" she asked, without much conviction.
"I just made a snide remark about Prongs stalking you, and you didn't retort with your usual wit Evans, that's what's not right." Sirius stated, genuinely worried. "Really, what's going on? Wether you like it or not, you want to talk to someone, really, and…" Sirius looked about them in mock amazement, "Well, would you look at that, I'm the only one here! So shoot Evans, what's' ticking in that pretty red head of yours?"
Lily let a small laugh escape her, despite her gloomy mood. She doubted anything that Sirius could say would make her feel any better.
"It's nothing, really."
'Lily, I think I should warn you now, I am highly accomplished in the performing of the Bat Bogey hex, and I shall be forced to use it, should you not confide in me soon."
"Seriously." Sirius said, giving her a stern glare, and turning so that he was facing her, his legs crossed in an agile position that could only be achieved to ones benefit by Sirius Black, "No overused pun intended." He added, with a wink.
Lily sighed. If what I thought is true, she weighed up in her mid, then it couldn't hurt if I told him what was bothering me…Lily stared Sirius down, knowing that every minute she spent thinking was another he would become more and more frustrated with her, Or I could always lie and tell him that Snape has been giving me a hard time about being a muggleborn…It would definitely be the easier way out, though not very productive…
"Snape was calling me names." She blurted out, quickly, the words falling awkwardly off her tongue before she had even thought through the repercussions of the words.
Sirius got a look on his face like he had swallowed a liquid that was not at all to his liking.
"Snape? Evans since when have you let Snape get you this down?" Sirius asked, confused, and not completely convinced. "I mean, he's definitely a git, but that git has done a lot worse things to you than call you names, and it's never made you upset before. Not this upset anyway. I mean, you've always been able to handle it…haven't you/"
Lily sighed. The cover story didn't look as though it was working, but she couldn't go back on it now.
"Yes, well, they were very hurtful names this time Sirius, they were…er, mudsliper…er, cunfigu- All right, there was no name calling, I'm in love with James Potter."
Lily gave up, finished in such a rapid voice that she could barely understand herself, and hung her head when she was finished. Sirius's jaw dropped to the grass, shocked.
"Lily, did you just say that you were-"
"And that wasn't just a name that Snape called you? I mean, you really are-"
"How did you- when did you- why would you- does he- why did- how could- but you- but he- but you both- but you never- what?" Sirius was stammering as though he were crazy, but across his face a stupid boyish grin was slapped proudly.
"I don't know Sirius, I just do, all right?" Lily exclaimed, lifting her head again, and throwing a rock angrily out into the water so that large ripples coursed over it's surface. Sirius stopped his insistent murmur of questions and just stared, letting out the occasional tuft of laughter.
They sat, in this way for a long while, until Sirius let out a joyful shriek much unlike the manly persona he so often defensively donned.
"Well that's brilliant!" he practically squealed, causing Lily to take such a sharp intake of breath that she began to choke. While patting her on the back, and muttering apologies, Sirius listened to Lily's gasps of breath, which were spitting out words of pure confusion.
"How- the –bloody- hell- is- that- brilliant?" Lily wheezed, Sirius hitting her on the back.
"And-that's-not-helping." Lily gasped, exasperated, as she began to regain breath, referring to the frenzied pounding on her back. When she had finally regained herself, and looked up,
"It's brilliant, Evans, because now the two of you can get together, get married, make me godfather to your children and live happily ever after." Sirius proclaimed, jovially. Lily's eyes widened.
"You know, for starters." Sirius added, noticing how ludicrous he had sounded. Lily had to spare him a laugh, before the smile, once again, slid from her face.
"Yeah, that would be great, if he could stand to look at me."
Sirius' mouth dropped, for the second time that night, and he gave a smug little smirk.
"What the ruddy hell do you mean by that?" he asked, with a hint of ludicrously in his tones. "He can't stand not to look at you."
"Come on Sirius, It think he hates me."
"And why would that be?" Sirius asked, perplexed.
"Well if he doesn't then why doesn't he ask me out anymore? Or do any of the crazy things that he used to?"
"Uh, maybe because you told him not…to…?" Sirius suggested, his eyes wide in amazement, as though he were stating the most obvious thing in the world.
"But he doesn't even-"
"Wait a minute Red, are you telling me that you are out here crying to yourself because you are jealous…of yourself?"
Lily thought through what he had just said, and couldn't deny herself a smile. She looked up, into Sirius' eyes, the edges crinkled in delight.
"So he doesn't?" she asked, amazed, and feeling slightly stupid.
"Of course not. James Potter hate Lily Evans? It's unheard of!"
"But he looked away when I smiled at him before. He didn't seem like he even wanted to know me. I haven't talked to him since we had a row on the train here."
"You're kidding?" Sirius said, puzzled. James had never said anything about that. In fact, he hadn't said too much about Lily all year, except for the times Sirius or Remus would catch him in the midst of a whimsical stare across the room, and he would give them a sad smile in response for their not so inquisitorial look.
"But he- but he-"
"I don't think he does Sirius, I really don't." Lily said, sadly, tears forming in her eyes again.
"Just, just let me talk to him before you stay out here crying all night, all right?" Sirius asked, a crease in his forehead. "I don't think that that could be right Lil's, I really don't."
Lily shook her head hopelessly, but didn't argue as Sirius reached out his hand to help her up, and wrapped his arm comfortingly, and platonically around her shoulders, the friends made their way up to the castle.
"So James," Sirius, said, as the four marauders lay in bed that night, each of them staring straight at the ceiling, trying to get to sleep. It wasn't unusual for them to talk consistently until they let themselves fall into slumber, and this might Sirius was glad for their traditional late night conversations, which was talking made much easier, for the fact that they were each unable to see the others facial expressions.
"Yeah Pad?" James replied.
"Hows Evans of late?" Sirius asked, bitting his bottom lip as he waited for the answer. It didn't come straight away. There was silence, staining the air as horridly as a shout.
After he didn't answer, Remus stepped up.
"Haven't heard you mention her much lately. You not…not madly in love anymore Prongs?" Remus asked, worried.
James gave out a harsh laugh.
"You've got to be joking. Of course I am."
Sirius very much felt like squealing again, however, in the company of so many males he felt that the rather feminine habit might not go unnoticed.
"Sorry, you just haven't been too, well, vocal, about it, recently."
"Yeah, you know why?" came James' voice, from in the darkness.
Sirius' eyes were wide now, though no one could see them by the non-existent light.
Remus was the one who replied, however. Peters gentle snores filled the room, as they always did about this far in most 'Lily conversations' held at this time of night.
"No actually, I've wondered…"
"She told me to grow up. So I did. I stopped being a git, for the most part. I haven't pulled any stupid stunts, or embarrassed the hell out of her for six months now, and you know how much good it did me?" he said, though Remus and Sirius both knew he didn't want them to really answer.
"None. No good at all. Big fat nada. Nothing has changed at all."
James' sigh resonated in their ears.
"I mean, she told me how many times that the reason she could never like me was that I was immature, and arrogant, and attention seeking, and all of this year I have tried my hardest to be none of these things. What bloody good has it done? If she was just saying these things as an excuse then I'm never going to get her, and I've come to terms with that-"
"But James you-"
"No Remus, it's hopeless. I can even bare to look at her anymore, now that I know we'll never be together. There always seemed to be time though, ever since I was eleven there's always been seven years to get her, but now…"
James trailed off, and it was obvious by his voice that he was very upset. Sirius and Remus new that each of them were equally as worried for their friend, as he acted as far from James Potter as he could ever act, even if he had made a squeal that would rival Sirius'.
"There's no time left. We leave this place in what? Three months? And I doubt I'll ever get to see her again."
James was getting more and more fired up, mad at himself, for everything that he had done in the past seven years to make Lily Evans loathe him.
James rose bitterly out of his bed, and grabbed his invisibility cloak from out of the top of his trunk, throwing it over himself so that he disappeared.
"I'm going out." He announced to the room in general. "I'll be back soon, really."
James didn't know where he was going- he might journey down to the beech tree by the lake- always a good place to think- or else up to the astronomy tower, which was good to clam him down, however, where ever he was planning on going, it didn't matter.
Nothing mattered, once the scene at the bottom of the staircase met his eyes.
The common room seemed deserted, at first glance. It was late at night- James thought he had been the last to leave to common room, with the exception of Sirius, who had been out for a walk, probably with one of the many female counterparts he seemed to acquire, however, from somewhere near the fire, James could hear a faint sobbing.
He rounded the side of the lounge chairs, and his breath caught in his throat when he saw who it was.
Lily was sitting, gazing into the fire, tears streaming down her pale face, her red hair hanging around her shoulders in slight waves, framing her sorrowful face and making her appear tragically beautiful. James couldn't help himself. He whipped the cloak from around his shoulders and hurried over to where she sat.
"What's wrong?" he asked, sinking to the floor beside her. Lily froze. She looked up at him, and into his eyes, shocked at who she saw. At first she thought, horrified, that she had thought about him so much that she was hallucinating; that he was merely a figment of her imagination combined with lack of sleep and tears, however, when he just sat beside her, waiting for a reply, instead of sweeping her into an embracing kiss, she knew that he was not the James Potter in her head, but the real, live one, who she was crying over in the first place.
"It's nothing, don't worry, really." She said, in barely a whisper, hoping that he wouldn't ask again. She didn't want to have to give him the same garbled answer she had ended up giving Sirius.
"All right, if you say so, but I'm going to sit here, just in case you want to talk, all right?" James asked, resting himself back so that he was leaning against the front of one of the armchairs.
"There was silence, for the longest time, in which James joined Lily in merely staring into the fire, letting his thoughts wander, completely unaware that he was having the exact same musings as she was, in her head.
Finally, Lily spoke.
"What's changed?" she asked. James started, from not having been talking for so long, and tried to hide the tiny smile that desperately wanted to grace his lips.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I thought you hated me. I thought you…you didn't like me anymore." Lily said, turning and looking at him, tucking her feet to one side.
James' eyes widened.
"I didn't mean to make you think that at all. I was just doing what you told me to- I was trying to act mature, be a normal person, I guess."
He shuffled his thumbs nervously, listening for her response. He wasn't looking at her, rather examining his thumb nails rather intently.
"But you wouldn't even look at me, today."
James' mouth dropped open.
"When I used to be caught looking at you, you would go wildly mad at me." James said, thinking inside how strange it was that he was having this conversation with Lily. He had imagined this conversation with Lily'; many times, however, now that it was here he couldn't bare look into her sparkling green eyes.
"Yes?" James looked up, this time. He couldn't bare to still avoid her gaze when she spoke his name with such desperation in her voice.
When he raised his eyes, however, James was shocked to discover that Lily was much closer than he had thought she was. She nodded, slightly, to herself, as though she were steeling herself to do something, and then, in one quick movement, pressed her lips against his, softly, and sat closer than she had before, bridging the gap that was between them.
James' mouth was curved into a smile, and he rested his hand on Lily's waisted, pleasantly surprised, and rather elated.
Because James Potter knew a lot of things about Lily Evans; He knew her favourite colour was pastel green, and she liked to listen to muggle rocks bands when she was at home for the summer. He knew that her favourite book was Pride and Prejudice, that she loved walking on the beach, that she sung Beatles songs in the shower, and that she wore fluffy pink slippers with tiny black bows gracing the toes.
And now James Potter knew one more fact about Lily Evans;
She was a brilliant kisser.
Upstairs Sirius Black peered over the marauders map, by the light of his wand tip, and let out a squeal.
A/N: hope that you enjoyed this. I enjoyed writing it. It was the result of a very boring Sunday afternoon, hehe.
Please let me know what you thought of it! I'd really appreciate it!
Thanks for reading.Luv Ella Evans xXx