Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize, it all goes to J.K. Rowling.

Reach, reach, hold for one minute- 60, 59, 58, 57…Lily counted in her head. She was sitting on a bench at the local ice rink, anxious to go skating again. Her bright red hair fell gracefully in front of her face as she leaned forward to touch her toes; her long, elegant hands hardly straining to keep a hold on her foot. Sighing, she finished counting and switched, bending her flexible body in the stretch. It was the summer after Lily Evan's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the ice was waiting. Shivering a little (it was cold after all), she slipped on her favorite green sweater; it matched her startlingly colored eyes. Then, with the ease of practice, Lily laced up her white skates and walked awkwardly over to the gate.

"Allow me," said a deep male voice behind her. She jumped in surprise and promptly fell onto the speaker, who caught her. Lily looked up into the grinning face of James Potter. She blanched visibly.

"Potter! What are you doing here?" she yelped, getting back on her feet. "Just when I think I'm shut of you for a few glorious weeks, you have to come and spoil it!"

"Glorious? Dearest Lily flower, surely you can't be meaning that! I have come so far to see your lovely face with your beautiful emerald eyes-"

"Save it, Potter," Lily said coldly. "I didn't get away from school to run in to you. Now go away."

"No, I really don't feel like doing that. I think I'll just sit here and watch," James replied cheekily. "After all, it is a public rink, so I'm not going anywhere."

Lily huffed and turned away. What was his problem anyway? she thought, wrenching open the gate. Why does he always have to ruin everything for me?

Stepping out onto the ice, Lily felt a wave of calm pass over her. She pushed off, hard. As she glided over the surface of the ice, Lily tilted her head back and spread out her arms, taking in a deep breath. Suddenly it didn't matter that she had not set foot on ice for months, or that Potter was watching from the sidelines. It was only Lily and the ice-her home.

Step, step, glide…step, step, glide…She concentrated on moving. Step, step, glide…glide…glide…And turn; Lily was skating backwards now, crossing over, curving around the walls of the rink. She spun around so she was facing forward again, pushed harder, concentrated, and jumped, twirling in the air…and landed, a leg gracefully extended behind her as she skated on one foot. She focused, jumping into a flying camel and smoothly broke her arabesque as she continued. She pushed again, and again, and again, and spun once more into a lay-back. She continued to glide, seeming to float over the ice, not touching it. Following a few turns and half-spins, she turned into a sit spin, going lower, and lower, and lower, and then back up, up, up, and straightening. She glided smoothly past James, who looked on in awe. He had never known this side of Lily before- this happy, no, this blissful, peaceful girl, so graceful in her movements that they blended together seamlessly, her jumps perfectly timed. She was unwritten, like no one James had ever seen before. Her beauty was more than skin deep; it surrounded her, enveloped her in an aura of absolute calm. She was…truly stunning.

Lily, meanwhile, was flying. She had never felt so free, never in her whole ice skating career felt all her troubles slip away like raindrops on a glass windowpane. She didn't care how long she had been skating; all sense of timing had fallen away. This was magic, magic like she had never felt before, could never feel at Hogwarts. This was more real, not something only a few selected people could have. This magic was boundless, alive and yet not, something anyone could have. Lily was gone, sucked into it, concentrated, vacuumed, so all that existed was the ice and herself, the wind rushing past her face, and the carefree excitement of the jump and the spin. Any noise left that infiltrated the bubble that formed around her was removed. This was who she was, her lifeblood, her self. Nothing could replace this, ever. Lily smiled subconsciously, and allowed herself to throw away anything that might distract her. Now was the time to skate, and skate, and skate…

Lily was still in a daze when she exited the rink two and a half hours later, skates flung over one shoulder. James stayed where he was, staring at the ice, devoid of all thoughts, but full of emotion.