Thanks so much to all my awesome reviewers: lil'z'508, Violin, messyblackhair66, Spirit, Lady Potter of Tortall (3 times!), Wanderer27, STonks, Super Cara (3 times!), hermione-g-wanna-be, Lilyluvr, Anime Wildfire and Deedsla.
This is the final chapter guys! Thanks for all your suggestions. I really liked some of them although I didn't want to add in too many twist in the final chappie. I did however try and put in some more LJ alone time (and of course snogging). I'm sorry I didn't update as soon as I promised, first my mum banned me from the computer until I cleaned my room and then fanfic wouldn't upload the chapter… but it's here now.
Ch 29: Closing Doors
Time seemed to have been bewitched to go extra fast in Hogwarts castle as the end of the school year approached far too quickly for liking. For some this was an exciting time where they could look forward to returning home to their families. For the seventh years it was nothing short of causing a panic attack.
Calming potions were being given out regularly to hysterical seventh years and the mounting pressure was pushing more and more to breaking point.
Dark shadows hung under Lily's eyes as she spent every spare minute studying for NEWTs. She'd barely had a proper conversation with any of her friends in days and relaxation times were short and far between (about ten minutes every three weeks or so).
But Lily certainly wasn't the only one who had barely slept in recent weeks. The house common rooms barely emptied til the early hours of the morning and were occupied again barely a few hours later. Arguments over book loans were aggravating many and chocolate was on high demand.
"I'm never going to remember all this." Close to tears Lily was frantically trying to recall all she had been memorising for weeks only to find her mind a complete blank. Despite it being well past midnight she was determined to keep studying through the night.
"Shhh. You'll be fine Lily. Just relax or you will forget everything. The more you stress the harder it will be to remember." James tried to calmly sooth his near hysterical girlfriend.
Lily shook her head and a few tears dripped onto her page. Gently, James wiped them away and rubbed her back soothingly.
"Get some sleep Lily. You'll feel much better for it and you'll be able to study better." He advised but Lily tensed at his words.
"James, NEWTs are in three days! I can't go to sleep! I have to memorise all of this." She gestured wildly to the table, barely visible beneath piles of work. Her voice rose in hysteria and finally cracked as a fresh wave of panic-stricken tears spilled down her cheeks.
"And your memory will be working much better after a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Trust me."
In her hysterical and exhausted state, Lily allowed herself to be steered to the stairs leading up to the girls' dormitory. James gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead before she dragged her weary frame up the never ending staircase to her inviting bed in which she promptly fell on to and was out for the count.
For one of the rare occasions, James too had been working hard. With quidditch it wouldn't be out of the ordinary. With school work, it was a rarity. His mind felt clogged with information that had never seemed significant until now and he seemed to be getting nowhere fast in remembering any of it.
After six straight hours of sleep, Lily was feeling markedly refreshed for a long weekend of studying that lay ahead of her. James accompanied her to the library far more times that he was happy with and together they made their way through a marked amount of revision. Lily's nerves settled slightly as James tested her and she answered each question thoughtfully, her confidence growing with each correct answer.
"Bed." James said firmly at 10 o'clock Sunday night as they sat in the Gryffindor common room.
Lily looked up at him in surprise assuming he was joking until she noticed the serious expression on his face.
She opened her mouth to protest but James silenced her by pressing his lips to hers in a sweet kiss.
"No buts. Staying up all night will serve no other purpose than making you fall asleep half way through your exams. Have an early night and then you'll feel refreshed and can wake up early for some last minute revision."
Giving him a weak smile, Lily knew he was right. Carefully packing up her mound of work she retreated to her dormitory for some well earned rest.
Exam week passed in the blink of an eye and all the seventh years were at last able to breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing to worry about until they received their results during the summer. Fretting over where they had gone wrong was useless as there was little they could do about it now.
"I'm glad that's over." Remus said with a contented sigh as he splashed some water at an oblivious Katherine beside him.
A large group of seventh years were all happily lounging in the shade by the lake enjoying their free time.
'Hmmm." Lily sighed lazily in agreement, her head resting comfortably on James' chest as she dozed in the dying sun.
"I wonder how Snivelly went in his exams." Sirius said innocently, fooling no one.
"What did you do Sirius? You better not have sabotaged anyone's NEWTs. You know –"
"– important they are." Clara finished with a laugh. Lily scowled at her but waited expectantly for Sirius to answer.
"What do you take me for?" Sirius asked in a wounded tone through which his amusement wasn't well hidden. "Of course I didn't. I just left him a little reminder." The grin was evident in his voice and many suspicious glances were cast his way.
"That reminder being?" Marly asked curiously.
Sirius chuckled. "That my friends will remain a mystery." They rolled their eyes knowing that the strictest measures had been placed for the exams that whatever he had done couldn't have been that bad.
"Graduation tomorrow." Caradoc said a little sadly.
In the past days since the end of exams, Caradoc and Marly had also taken to hanging out with the Marauders plus Lily, Katherine and Clara. They were cute together Lily had to admit and it made her smile to see her friend so happy. She still didn't know how serious it was between the two of them yet but for now Marly seemed content and that was all that really mattered.
A pensive silence descended on them as they watched the sun set slowly, casting brilliantly coloured shadows across the lawn and the stone walls of the castle. They would all miss this place. But tonight wasn't the time for being sad. That's what tomorrow's graduation was for. Tonight was about spending those last few hours with the people they had been known for the past seven years. A time to enjoy that last time in a place that had become home to all of them.
"We've about half an hour before it gets too dark. Who's up for a last game of quidditch?" James suggested to a mumble of agreement as Sirius, Remus, Katherine, Caradoc and Peter rose to join him.
Disappointed at the absence of her pillow, Lily stretched lazily on the grass and yawned loudly. From their spot by the lake they could hear the distant yelling from the quidditch pitch as five figures on broomsticks zoomed around.
"We haven't seen much of Natalie in a while have we?" Clara asked sadly.
Natalie had indeed taken Marly's 'treachery' and 'fraternising with the enemy' rather badly and was still distant with all of them. The initial coldness had melted but the gap between all of them had stayed. They were all friendly with one another but Natalie had taken to hanging out with different people and spent less and less time with her dorm mates.
"I guess we just drifted apart." Lily said pensively and Clara made a noise of agreement.
While Natalie had always been the most aloof in the group of four she had still very much been part of the gang. But during the second part of the year their relationship had taken a shift and she had drifted away from all of them.
"It was my fault. After Will she barely talked to me for weeks and you guys too." Marly said heavily.
"Nah. I think it would have happened anyway. Sometimes people just grow apart with time and the situation with Will was just the obvious turning point. Natalie would have moved away from us anyway." Lily argued.
"Do you think we'll see her when we leave?" Marly asked. Lily shook her head. Maybe they might run into each other in Diagon Alley, have a quick laugh, maybe a butterbeer and catch up but they wouldn't be close.
"What about us?" Clara questioned with a hint of trepidation in her voice.
"Of course." Lily stated firmly. "Marly for one is stuck with me and we'll see you all the time too."
Lily had been avoiding placing plans for when she left Hogwarts. She supposed she had always just assumed she would live with her parents until she had the money to afford a place of her own. But with them gone she had been left with Petunia (an option she never even considered) or any other place she could think of. Being the best friend that she was Marly had immediately offered for Lily to stay with her for as long as she wanted, an offer Lily had gratefully accepted.
"How are things with Caradoc?" Lily enquired to Marly, watching with happiness as a beatific smile covered her friend's face.
"Really good." Marly sighed happily. "If only I could get rid of that creepy stalker!"
Lily and Clara looked up in surprise. This they hadn't heard anything about.
"Stalker?" Lily enquired curiously.
Marly nodded unhappily. "You know that scary looking blonde Slytherin? Travers I think. The past few months, ever since I broke up with Will he's been following me. It's gotten worse lately and the other day I yelled at him to leave me alone when he followed me all the way to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. He hasn't seemed to have gotten the hint since I caught him walking suspiciously behind me yesterday." Marly explained to her stunned friends.
"It's no big deal. A little creepy but fairly harmless." Marly said quickly, noting the worried faces.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Lily asked, still looking anxiously at Marly.
She shrugged. "I kind of forgot about it to be honest. And we've all been so stressed with NEWTs it's hardly seemed very important."
They trailed off into comfortable silence again and watched with amusement as the giant squid flicked water at them with its long tentacles.
As the last rays of light faded and the mosquitoes grew fierce, they gathered their few belongings and walked back up to the castle.
"Clara, get out of the bathroom. We have to be down there in five minutes." Lily said impatiently as she hammered on the door with her toothbrush sticking out of her mouth.
Breakfast had been a hurried affair for the seventh years before the official graduation. Lily barely even had time to appreciate her last plate of Hogwarts' wonderful maple syrup covered pancakes.
Finally able to get in the bathroom, Lily hurriedly spat out her mouthful of toothpaste and rinsed her mouth with water before shoving the last of her belongings into her trunk. With a last scan around the room for anything she may have left behind Lily coaxed an unhappy Hecate into her wicker basket.
Together the girls hurried down to the grounds where rows of chairs and an impressive looking stage had been set up. Being this year's Heads and being responsible for planning the graduation ceremony, Lily and James had settled for something simple.
"See you guys later." Lily whispered to her friends as they took seats somewhere in the middle while Lily proceeded to the front where she could already see James standing. Beaming at the student filing into the rows, Professor Dumbledore was already standing in the middle of the stage by a pedestal.
Lily wrung her hands nervously. She hadn't ever been very good at public speaking. Noticing her anxiety, James squeezed her hand and gave her a reassuring smile.
"Today we are here to say goodbye to another year." The chatter immediately stopped at Professor Dumbledore's voice and he smiled at the students in front of him. "But more importantly, it is a time to say goodbye to all you have known for the past seven years. To say goodbye to the teachers who have worked tirelessly to help you get to where you are now and the students who have been your peers and friends."
"I hope your time here at Hogwarts has been meant something special to each and every one of you. And now, without further adieu, I would like to hand you over to this year's Head Boy and Girl, James Potter and Lily Evans."
With a nod, Professor Dumbledore moved away for Lily and James. Her nerves jangled and a deep swell of emotion filled her as Lily stepped up to the podium. She could feel all the pairs of eyes following her and nervously held her breath.
Muttering a quick sonorous charm, James addressed to students. "Firstly I'd just like to say thank you. You've all made my time at Hogwarts one of fond memories that will stick with me forever. I always had my doubts about whether I'd make it this far but surprisingly I did. We've all achieved so much and should all be proud of that. Thanks to my teachers who have put up with all my pranking and inattention. Thanks to all of my peers and friends who have been my life support. And thanks to Lily, my fellow Head. I've had the pleasure of working with her this year and she has taught me so much about life and love and has finally helped me grow up, to a degree, something we all thought wasn't possible. Some of you I will never see again after today but I wish you all the best for the future."
Casting the counter spell James stood back for Lily. His encouraging smile gave her a small boost of confidence and she hitched a sure smile on her face before turning to her peers.
"When I first received my Hogwarts letter it was like something out of my wildest dreams. That letter changed my whole life and as long as I live I will never regret having received it. Since then my life has been a whirlwind of the unexpected and not a moment of it will I ever forget."
Lily took a deep steadying breath before continuing. "One of the most important things I ever learnt was something a very wise person once told me. 'Life goes on.' And it does. Things aren't always easy and sometimes it would just be easier just to give up. But we don't. We get through it as best we can and these experiences become some of the things that make us stronger and mould us into the people we are today."
"This year wouldn't have been the same without all of you. Through the stress of exams, the terror of war, the tragedy of loss, the joy of love and the bumpy road of life, we've all faced it together and I know I will cherish those memories. And now as we leave the safety of what we've known and enter a world of so many decisions and the fear of what the future holds, know that you can do anything you want. No dream is too far out of reach if you strive to achieve it."
"Live every moment of your life to the fullest and don't hold back. With a war raging around us the most important thing we can do is stick together for it's our strongest force against the enemy. Follow your heart and live your dreams. Don't take anything for granted. Never underestimate the power of love and friendship as they will be the most precious things you will ever know."
"As a last thing I want to thank all of my teachers for being my mentors and guiding me through. I want to thank my friends for having unwavering faith in me supporting me through everything. I want to thank every one of my peers for all the wonderful memories we've had. And lastly I want to wish every one of you the best for whatever you choose to do in the future. Thank you."
Lily voice cracked slightly on her last words. Emotion rose in her chest and the end was really hitting her hard. A tear leaked out of her eye as she turned away from the crowd.
Professor Dumbledore gave her a kind smile as he once again addressed the audience. The Heads of Houses rose and too stood up on the stage to present their graduating certificates. As each name was called Lily watched the student shake hands with their Head of House. When her own name was called Lily's legs felt like jelly. After this she was officially graduated from Hogwarts.
She shook Professor McGonagall's hand firmly and the old woman gave her a rare smile. Back in her seat Lily grinned broadly as each of her friends and classmates received their certificates. All too soon it was over and Lily felt herself being squashed in a hug.
"We did it!" Marly squealed in her ear.
"We did, didn't we?" Lily agreed squeezing her back tightly.
"Great speech Lily. Well done." Caradoc congratulated, coming over to give Marly a kiss causing her to uncharacteristically blush (in a good way).
"Thanks." Lily smiled gratefully. "Have you seen James anywhere?" Craning her neck of the tide of people, Lily peered around anxiously for James.
"Guess who?" A pair of hands from behind her covered her eyes and warm breath tickled her ear.
Lily felt herself being spun around and a soft pair of lips made contact with her own. Her eyes fluttered open as that same pair of arm wrapped themselves around her, pulling her tight against their owner.
"Well done up there Lil." James said warmly as he drew her into an embrace. "Ready to go now?"
Lily could here the sounds of students' loud chatter and farewells around her as they clambered into carriages to take them to Hogsmeade station. Sirius was shouting loudly at them but Lily buried her face deeper into James' chest feeling her tears absorb into his robes.
"Hey, are you okay?" James' concerned voice sounded above her but Lily still didn't move.
So many emotions were bubbling through her but loudest of all was the one screaming 'I don't want to leave.' This was her home. It had been for seven years and it always would be. The only life she had always known was her muggle childhood with her parents but that was a thing of the past. A distant memory that couldn't affect her future.
James pulled gently away from her and his bright hazel eyes bore into her tear filled ones. Tenderly he wiped away her tears with light fingers and pushed her hair behind her ears. Putting on a brave smile, Lily collected herself.
"I'm fine. Ready?" Lacing her small fingers with his, they made their way over to one of the empty carriages.
The carriage rocked gently along the bumpy path and Lily rested her head against the side feeling her head rise and fall in time to the carriage. Her eyes were glued to the wide grassy landscape on which an old stone castle sat. The magnificent Hogwarts Castle stood proudly, illuminated by the morning sun and the giant squid was waving his tentacles in farewell (either that or he was simply stretching).
Lily barely registered getting aboard the scarlet steam train for the final time. Robotically she followed her friends who were leading the way to an empty carriage somewhere. Her ears zoned out of the noisy voices around her and she clutched tightly to James' hand like a lost little girl.
The train ride passed far more quickly than usual as Lily watched the countryside zoom past her while her friends laughed and played exploding snap around her. The lunch trolley came and went and half the contents seemed to have been bought by Sirius and Peter.
"You want to take a walk?" James whispered to Lily while Sirius and Marly argued over a pumpkin pasty. Nodding Lily followed him until they came across an empty compartment at the very back of the train.
"You're really going to miss this place, huh?" James asked softly as she snuggled into him on the seat.
"It's home." Lily whispered back willing herself not to cry again.
"Do you think you'll ever be able to call somewhere else home?" James asked cautiously.
Lily shrugged. "I don't know. Hogwarts is all I have left. I would never be able to call a place with my sister home. And I know that I'm always welcome at Marly's place but it's not the same you know? That's her family, her home. And soon she's going to want to plan her future and she can't always be trying to help me out too."
James swallowed but his throat felt slightly constricted. For a reason only he knew he felt extremely nervous all of a sudden and he couldn't seem to get out what he wanted to say so instead he settled for nodding.
"Are you still worried?" He asked instead.
Lily nodded and looked away. For a moment she looked out the window before speaking. "Now that exams are over…" She trailed off uncertainly and a heavy silence followed. They had both put off this discussion for as long as possible but on their last day it was getting near impossible to ignore it any longer. "What's going to happen to us James?" Her eyes were dry but they held all the fear she felt inside her.
"I love you Lily and I don't want to lose you. I suppose we'll just have to work around everything to make it work." James said thickly.
"I love you too James." Lily whispered. James' eyes widened.
It had taken her months to finally express those three words James had been telling her since before they were going out. Months it had taken her to finally figure out what it meant. But now she knew. It was the way she ached for him whenever he wasn't around. It was the way her heart swelled and everything felt brighter when he was around. It was knowing that she would do anything for him, to stay with him, to spend the rest of her life with him even. It was so many emotions and feelings rolled into one little word that held so much.
A euphoric smile crossed James' face as he looked at the girl who had stolen his heart. He didn't need to say anything and she didn't need him to.
Leaning over James captured Lily's lips with his own. His hands moved up to gently caress her face. Slowly Lily felt James ease her body back onto the seat, his body flush against hers as he wove his hands into her fiery hair. Kissing him back with a passion she had never felt before, Lily wrapped her own arms around his neck and deepened the kiss.
Forgetting all her earlier sadness, Lily felt all her worries fly out the window as James kissed her thoroughly. Moving down he left a trail of soft butterfly kisses across her face before gently kissing her neck. His eyes were clouded with desire and Lily felt herself sigh with pleasure.
"Do you think we'd better get back to the others?" Lily asked quietly, knowing they should go back before they worried but half-heartedly wishing she could stay here until they reached Kings Cross Station.
"I suppose." James mumbled back, his breath tickling her skin. However he made no indication of getting up and moved back up to kiss her full on the lips.
"Lily, can I ask you something?" James asked between kisses.
"Uh huh." She agreed.
"Will you move in with me?" He mumbled against her lips. Startled, Lily pulled away.
Sitting up properly, James looked at her and found his nerves returning.
"You don't have to say yes. I know you have a place to stay with Marly and I don't want to pressure you or anything. I don't have a place of my own yet but I thought I'd offer if you wanted to move in with me." James babbled.
Lily still looked a little shell shocked but a small smile was beginning to appear.
"You want me to move in with you? To your parents' place?" She asked just to be sure she understood what he was asking.
"I didn't think you'd want to. You'd much rather stay with Marly but I just thought… you know. You could have your own room even. But you know, that's fine if you don't want to. I don't want you to feel pressured at all." He rambled. Lily was definitely smiling now.
She brought her lips to his and kissed him gently. "I'd love to."
"You what?" James asked astounded.
"I would love to move in with you." Her smile was huge.
Maybe the end of school and her otherwise limited housing options had brought this on sooner than it might have otherwise. Maybe the raging war around them and the high casualty rate at the hand of the Death Eaters caused people to make decisions earlier than they might have. But Lily felt truly happy at the prospect at living with James. She knew it wouldn't always be easy, especially at first, but it was a chance she was more than willing to take.
She would take him up on the separate bedrooms for the time being. Lily wasn't sure she was ready for him to see her in her early morning glory just yet. Nor was she ready for… other stuff yet either. But she did want this and she was almost certain that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.
"You really want to?"
"I really want to." Lily confirmed giving him another kiss. Wrapping his arms around her again he pulled her back on top of him, kissing her firmly. She giggled against his lips but made no move to push him off her.
Ten minutes later they arrived back at the compartment, their hands intertwined and gigantic grins covering their faces.
"Well look whose smiling now then." Marly said as they took a seat.
"I wonder where you too have been." Sirius added slyly with a smirk. "'Walking' I'm sure." Lily blushed but her smile didn't fade.
A quiet knock on the door interrupted them and the girls' startled faces registered a slightly uncomfortable looking Natalie.
"I think I need to use the bathroom." Sirius stood up, for once in his life taking note of one of those 'moments' when he wasn't needed. "Anybody else?"
With a nod James stood up too and moved towards the door.
"I'm going to get some more food." Peter muttered as he and Caradoc too got up.
"Fancy a walk Katherine?" Remus asked and with her nod they took their leave also leaving the four girls alone.
"Hi." Natalie said a little hesitantly.
"You want to sit down?" Lily offered pointing to the now empty seats around them.
"I just wanted to erm, say goodbye. I didn't see you at the graduation and I didn't want to leave things how they were." Nat continued, taking the proffered seat.
"Great speech by the way Lily." She added with a smile and Lily blushed a little.
The stilted atmosphere between the girls seemed to evaporate and for a few minutes they chatted pleasantly. They discussed the NEWTs and what they were planning to do now. Natalie was surprised to hear that Marly was now going out with Caradoc Dearborn.
"Well, I'd better go now but I'll see you around." Natalie said as she rose.
With a last smile Natalie walked back to her compartment. Her visit had left them all with a sense of satisfaction. They sat quietly each contemplating their own thoughts until Lily decided that now was as good a time as any.
"Erm, Marly, I'm not going to be bumming off you for as long as I thought." Lily said suddenly. Marly looked up at her in confusion.
"What do you mean? And you're not bumming off me, if that's what you're worried about. I want you to stay and you're welcome to for as long as you want." Marly said.
"Well I er, found a place to live." Lily said a little uncomfortably. She didn't want Marly to think that she didn't want to stay there or anything or that she didn't appreciate her hospitality.
Marly's eyebrow rose in surprise. "I thought you couldn't afford a place of your own?" She queried.
"I can't but well… James asked me to live with him." Lily finished quickly. She was a little worried about what her friends' reactions to the news would be.
Clara tore her eyes away from the window and looked at her excitedly. Marly's other eyebrow joined her first.
"Oh my gosh, that is so romantic." Clara sighed wistfully.
"What did you say?" Marly asked, her face unreadable. Lily's stomach squirmed in apprehension.
"I kind of said yes." Lily replied softly. "But I said I still wanted to stay with you for a few weeks first if that's still okay."
"Of course it is." Marly said definitely. "Wow, I can't believe you're moving in with him." A happy grin spread across her face and Lily felt her nerves relax. Of course Marly wouldn't be mad at her.
"I know." Lily gushed. "It still hasn't sunk in yet."
"So does that mean –?" Clara asked suggestively.
"No!" Lily said with wide eyes and Marly laughed.
"Who thought the idea of sleeping with James Potter would cause such a negative reaction."
Lily looked a little embarrassed and her cheeks were pink. "No, I didn't mean it like that. It's just… I don't think I'm ready yet. And he said he doesn't want to pressure me. He offered to have separate rooms."
Marly burst out laughing. "You are moving in with your boyfriend but you're having separate rooms?" She asked through her giggles. Lily looked defensive and her cheeks flamed darker.
"There's nothing wrong with that. Especially coming from Miss-I-want-to-take-things-slow." Lily replied hotly.
Marly stopped laughing. "I'm sorry Lil. That's good if you want to take things slow. But –"
"Can we not talk about this?" Lily asked desperately her face still very pink.
"What? Having sex with James Potter?" Clara asked wickedly.
"Enough!" Lily giggled. "I'm not saying I won't ever sleep with him. Just not yet. We'll see how things go."
"Oh, so you will sleep with him now?" Marly asked with a teasing grin.
"I didn't say that!" Lily was so red now that her face matched her hair.
"I'm sorry Lils. You know we're only teasing you." Marly said.
The compartment slid open and the boys traipsed back in. Lily, Marly and Clara looked up startled as Marly and Clara burst into fits of giggles again and Lily felt her cheeks grow hotter.
"What are you girls talking about?" James asked curiously as he watched Lily's face grow to resemble the colour of a beetroot.
"Nothing." Lily said uncomfortably, not looking at him and glaring at her still laughing friends.
Lily was very thankful when at that moment Remus and Katherine returned too and Sirius began friendlily teasing them as he had done to Lily and James earlier. Even more thankfully Marly and Clara managed to get their giggles under control and stopped shooting Lily knowing looks that made her blush fiercely.
Lily spent the remainder of the long train journey in much brighter spirits than the first part. Sirius kept giving her knowing winks, a clear indicator than James had let him in on the news too. The boys were kicked out of the compartments briefly towards the end while the girls changed out of their school robes.
As the train slowed they gathered their belongings and headed towards the exits as the swarms of students around them pushed and shoved to get there first. As usual the station was packed with excited parents and siblings as they made their way through the throngs of people.
Lily felt her eyes well up slightly for the millionth time that day as she hugged all of her friends goodbye and they all promised to owl.
"I'll see you soon Lily." James said softly as he kissed her firmly on the lips and holding her in a warm embrace.
"I love you." He smiled broadly as she rested her head on his chest.
"I'll never get sick of hearing that." James said happily.
He brought his head down to hers and kissed her long and hard. Lily felt herself melt until a sudden thought struck her.
"Your parents aren't here are they?" She asked anxiously looking around. James chuckled.
"No. I told them I'd apparate home." Lily relaxed. Not that she didn't want to meet James' parents. She just didn't really want their first impression of her to kissing James in the middle of the train station.
"I'd better go now." Lily said reluctantly as she noticed Marly waiting for her out of the corner of her eye. "I'll see you soon though."
"Really soon." James promised. "Bye Lil. I love you." With a final kiss and a wave of farewell, James watched as Lily dragged her trunk over to Marly. He watched her long hair flutter slightly behind her as she walked away and as if she felt his gaze she turned and gave him a last wave as she and Marly moved out of eyesight.
"You're a lovesick prat aren't you?" James hadn't heard Sirius sidle up and turned to his grinning friend. James shoved him playfully but couldn't resist a grin.
Who knew where the future would lead any of them. Where they would be in five, ten, 50 years from now. One door had just closed but many more were opening at the same time, leading them all down any path they chose. And James knew just which door he was going to walk through.
"You wanna know something funny Padfoot?" James asked his best mate. "One day I'm going to marry that girl."
I hope you liked it. I know a lot hangs on the ending of a story and whether or not you like it. This is by far the longest chapter I've written too. Wow, I can't believe this story's all over! My first completed story (not inc. one shots)! Btw, please check out the new one shot I just posted too if you like, I would love reviews (wink wink).
Thanks to all those faithful reviewers who have made be grin manically for a few hours after reading them. I really can't say how much I appreciated all your reviews!