Seventh year.

XxXxXx

Lily Evans burst through the classroom door in amongst a pack of students with little resentment clouding her thoughts. The impending freedom of the weekend was enough to explain the cheerful mood of the entire school and the buzz of laughter and conversation assured her of its presence.

Feeble rays of autumn's sun filtered through the high windows on either side of the hall as she ran a hand through her long hair in a final attempt to free it from every constraint of the bun it had been entrapped in the entire day.

The girls beside her were talking but Lily chose to nod agreeably rather than risk destroying the peaceful atmosphere that only a Friday afternoon and the prospect of two work free days could create.

The slightly vacant smile fell from her face as the route she was following with her friends was suddenly blocked by a rather solid mass of jerk.

"What?" She glared up at the grin of James Potter with resentment.

"Evans, Hello. I was...trying to catch your attention in class but-"

"I know." Not looking the least bit discouraged he continued.

"You didn't seem to notice and-" He was interrupted by the tallest of an approaching collection of figures.

"Are you going to come or not?" Sirius Black. Great, he was in her way and he had all three of his lackeys with him. She watched James' eyes close in frustration for only a moment before he was grinning broadly at her again.

"I'm sorry; could you just wait one moment?" He gestured with a single upheld finger. Her eyebrows shot up in annoyance.

"Why not?"

She watched, with arms folded, as a conversation involving violent arm movements and harsh whispers took place before her. Only Sirius and James appeared to be taking part in the argument, Remus Lupin interrupting once only to be ignored and the scrawny boy, Peter Pettigrew, keeping his distance.

Finally, James shook his head and flicked one hand with the impression of shooing children. Sirius raised his arms in defeat and began to walk away, Lupin matching his stride while Peter trailed behind them.

With his back still to her, James ruffled his hair. Turning, he strutted back over her and coughed once before speaking.

"Sorry, about that." If he expected some sort of forgiveness for the interruption he really was more arrogant than she had thought. Pushing his glasses awkwardly up his nose he continued. "Just had to sort that out." His 'explanation' did little to increase her feelings of compassion.

"Why what's going on? Trouble in the wonder friendship? Your egos don't fit in the same dorm anymore?" James laughed for a moment before he seemingly realized she had insulted him. His hand flew to his hair.

"I was just explaining I wouldn't be able to spend time with them this weekend."

"No?" The question was asked with a sense of little interest in the matter.

"Yeah, I think they got annoyed when I said I was spending it with you."

"Really, I'm not surprised...What?" Despite her dangerously low voice she only received a quiet 'heh' in answer while his hand remained behind his head buried somewhere in his dark hair. Lily let out a little snort of frustration. "So I have no choice now? Get it through you thick head please; I'm. Not. Going. Out. With. You." She spoke slowly and deliberately.

"I know!" He seized one of hands "That doesn't work, no, I'm spending time with you."

"What?" She wrenched her captured limb away "I don't want to!" He sighed loudly.

"Which is the problem!" Her head reared back in a combination of incredulous shock and disgust "How are you ever going to know how much you like me if you refuse to get to know me?"

"If I didn't know enough about you already to put me off you for life, I certainly do now!" His face twisted in desperation.

"Please?" She could have laughed and decided that she should have when he took her silence as an agreement a smile returning to his features. "Right, so I thought maybe first you would like to watch me play Quidditch this afternoon?"

"I cannot believe you." Hitching her bag back up her shoulder she glared at him before pushing her way past him and down the now empty corridor.

"Evans?"

XxXxXx

He was an idiot. No, more than an idiot a...big arrogant pig of an idiot Lily fumed as she tugged a sweater over her head only to let out a scream when it caught on her hair. She took comfort in the fact that she could blame the throbbing pain on him.

She glanced at her watch, looked like she would have to blame her being late on him too. Earlier that day she had been bullied into using her 'talent' in transfiguration to help a small group of girls study for the upcoming test.

Running down the stairs and hastily falling through the portrait hole, Lily only pause once in her journey to the library to watch the tiny specks, moving like insects, above the Quidditch pitch. One of them was Potter but as none were doing anything extreme in an attempt to show off it was difficult to determine which.

With a smirk Lily turned and sprinted the rest of the way bursting through the doors in a fluster of paper.

"Sorry I'm late! I was held up by the jerk!" It only took one glare form Madame Pince to convince her to lower her voice immediately. Rolling her eyes towards the strict librarians back and allowing herself to smile as the group giggled, she dropped into the only remaining seat.

Noting the girl beside her, nose already hidden behind a thick text book she began to throw her thing haphazardly across the desk.

"Glad to see some of you started without me." Reaching across she patted the exposed shoulder fondly.

"Uh Lily..." Her friend looked nervously at her, eyes wide as she chewed on her lip.

"What's wrong?" With a small, tentative smile, the other girl pointed beside her. Lily turned her head slowly to blink at the now exposed face of James Potter. "Oh."

"Evans, I've been having trouble with question six..." His face remained entirely serious but his eyes gleamed reminding her suddenly to quickly pull her hand back from its resting position on his broad, obviously un-feminine shoulder.

"What are you doing?" She hissed at him.

"Studying." His seemingly innocent reply angered her further.

"You...You're supposed to be out there..." She pointed roughly out a window "Playing your stupid little game!"

"Yes, but you know me; school before sport." Lily rose, frustrated and unable to sit beside him any longer.

"No! I don't know you! Get out of here!" A cold, boney hand grasped Lily's wrist as stale breath assaulted her.

"I will not have you causing disruptions in the library like this. Leave." Without saying a word or moving except to follow where she was being dragged, Lily was led out of the room into the cold passage. The doors clicked shut behind her.

Damn him.

She only realized she was still standing, staring at the door several minutes later when it opened again. Spinning on her heel in an attempt to escape failed as James' voice broke through the silence and he ran to place himself in front of her like some sort of bespectacled sheepdog.

"Thanks for waiting for me!" He was...an imbecile.

"I wasn't waiting for you!" He had recently developed a habit of completely ignoring what she said and carrying on with the distorted trail of thought had led him to believe she enjoyed his company.

"Well, let's go back to the common room and continue our little study session in private..." Disregarding his meaningful look she began to walk again passing the libraries door. "Your hair looks fine!" She stopped.

"What?" Despite the fact that she hated him, Lily had always thought of James to be slightly more...smooth than throwing useless, half-hearted compliments at her. Facing him however, showed him to be leaning casually against the wall opposite smirking at her confusion.

"No need to check, it looks perfect already."

"Check...What are you talking about?"

"You always adjust your hair when you walk past that window." Lily glanced to her left and her actions were matched clearly by her reflection. Focusing her eyes behind mirrored Lily she watched James approach.

"I do?"

"Yeah." Perhaps, just perhaps, he may have succeeded in whatever he was planning to do when he reached her if it hadn't been for the self satisfied, smug expression that captured her attention before a single one of her flyaways. She moved before he could get within a metre of her.

"You...Have been stalking me?" His face fell.

"No! I...just noticed, that's all."

"Like you noticed I had a study session this afternoon?"

"Well, yes." She shook her head slowly and made her way down the corridor aware of James' unrestrained tracking of her movements. A group of students made there way towards them heading to the alluring idea of the great Hall and the food contained within it.

Avoiding the gazes of the people she knew incase they thought she was being voluntarily escorted around by James, it was hardly a surprise when she crashed head first into someone else.

"Sorry." She mumbled as she was steadied from behind.

"Are you okay?" When she realized just who was doing the steadying, recognizing James' concerned voice, she shrugged him off.

"Fine."

"Are you sure? He just walked straight into you." Lily looked up to see the other half of her collision as he sneered back at the figure behind her.

"James..." Her voice was warning "It was my fault, shut up..." There was silence for a moment before Snape, her 'collidee', brushed past them.

"She's right, sorry Severus." It was forced and blunt without resentment or concern but it was enough to stop both Lily and Snape and render them into a frozen stupor. Snape recovered first, hurrying away without answer, intelligent enough to want to avoid conflict from this new form of 'polite' weapon.

"Potter, what happened to you?" She was almost concerned for his wellbeing.

"Nothing, I mean, you were right is all..." He shrugged and looked at the floor. Lily laughed.

"Nice try." She wondered if Sirius had put him up to that one.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, your sudden 'turn around'. Seriously, sometimes you try too hard."

"I don't know what you're talking about! Where are you going? You eat dinner now!" She seemed to be storming away from him more than usual today and unfortunately he seemed to be doing just as good a job of tailing and attempting to confront her. So good in fact, that he had caught her before she could climb through the portrait hole and take refuge in the girl's dorm.

He gave her an imploring look.

"It's your sudden change of tactics, whatever happened to showing off from a distance? These direct attacks are...infringing on my personal space."

"Tactics? Lily-"

"See? Those tactics! You don't call me Lily!"

"I...I can call you Evans!" He waved his hands like he was trying to erase his last statement.

"Thank you, James." He stopped, hands still raised above his face "Yes, exactly you see now? Strange isn't it?"

"Yeah, sorry about that..."

"Stop doing that!"

"What now?" He sounded alarmed, his face stricken.

"Apologising!" He opened his mouth momentarily (to apologise she was sure) but stopped himself.

"Right." She narrowed her eyes.

"And that." He shrugged and shook his head incredulously "Since when do you take orders from me?" His jaw dropped.

"That annoys you?" His expression remained dubious.

"I'm not your wife!" He blinked at her.

"No, you're not." She flushed under his gaze.

"I have homework to do." Lily mumbled along with the password.

"Not until after eight you don't." She paused in her ungraceful, half-way portrait hole climbing position. This was getting scary.

"There is one more thing I have to ask you to stop doing..."

"Sorry...I mean okay. No, I mean, I'll think about it Evans."

"Thank you." He was almost cute when flustered and spurting foolish things.

"And um, you can finish explaining what I'm doing wrong tomorrow right?" Lily turned her head and gave James a smile that was nothing short of evil.

"Ha! I'll need Sunday too before I have a chance of getting through that list." He gaped at her but she ran the rest of the way to her dormitory before he could say another word.

XxXxXx

Lily may not have been in any position to scrutinize over the victory dance that ensued her exit, but three of the people who were likely to cause him the most pain over the ridiculous performance later, chanced to be strolling up the hall at that time.

Remus was first to speak after several moments of quiet observations.

"Looks like something went well."

"Doesn't look like she caused him any physical damage, surely that's reason enough to dance." Sirius' reply was gruff.

"Don't be mean, just because your idea of 'playing it cool and letting her come to him' failed miserably." Remus answered him quickly.

"At least my idea didn't involve him groveling and ignoring us."

"You almost sound jealous Padfoot." Peter inputted quietly.

"I sound worried for his reputation. It'll never work." Remus laughed.

"We'll see. Now, would you do the honour of informing him of our presence?" Sirius smiled as they watched their friend fall to his knees, arms stretched upwards and fists pumping.

"With pleasure."

A/N: This is Nut2 so no flaming Nut1 for the sudden decline in the quality of her Harry Potter fics okay? I hope this was alright, first solo fic for this fandom. This story is complete.

Please be kind and review!

Nut2