Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter

Lily and James one shot

"Because I love you Lily. And there's nothing else to it."

Sometimes she hates him. Hates his arrogance, his cocky smirk that makes him himself. Hates his care, his love that he constantly gives her. Hates him so badly she wants to breakdown and cry, but not in his arms – that would just make her hate him more. But he doesn't know that. He wouldn't know that. Not yet. And then she discovers, with a sudden shock that has never hated him as much as she does now – and they are going out. Sometimes she hates herself.

"Oi! Evans! Lily!" She cringes, the words ringing in her ears. The voice ringing in her head. She forces herself to stop and waits for him to catch up. He does so within seconds. "Hey," he says, smiling. She does not see it, does not want to see it.

"Hey," she acknowledges, biting her lips. "What…do you want?" she says, her voice strained as she has not spoken to him for a long time, a week perhaps.

He looks at her strangely, his posture slightly relaxed in contrast to her tight pose, her fists slightly clenched in a wanting to get away. "Just to spend some time with you," he answers.

"Oh,"

"Why, is that a crime?" he asks, half-jokingly.

She looks at him guiltily. "No, of course not."

She sees his jaw tighten. "Lily, are you avoiding me?" he asks almost casually, if not for the sudden burst of raw emotion that has come through his voice and has hit her right in the face. Her own jaw tightens and she swallows. They have now come to a complete stop in the hallway, the dim lighting adding to the heavy atmosphere that has built up during the past five minutes.

"No I'm not. What made you think that?" she says so convincingly that she has almost tricked her own mind.

He relaxes a little, and an enormous feeling of guilt surges through her. He sees her tense up slightly, the grip on her right sleeve made even more profound. "Are you alright Lily? You've seemed a little troubled lately."

She blinks at him. "I haven't been…troubled. What are you talking about?" she lies. Sometimes lies are so intoxicating.

He studies her face. "I don't believe that for a second," he says assuredly, completely confident in his conclusion. She bites her lip in a dilemma, what should she do? What can she do? "Would you care to tell me about your troubles?"

She looks at him uncertainly, but doesn't say anything.

"Please?" he asks, tilting his head slightly. She continues looking at him, her eyebrows furrowed together. "Keeping it in won't help, you know," She knows.

"We're in the middle of a hallway, Potter," she says, referring to him by his last name and not by his first, an indication of how she is feeling. His eyes suddenly go dark, the usual soft hazel becoming a stormy brown. "It's not exactly private,"

"Well, I'm not going away until you tell me." He shrugs, his eyes still dark. "I'll just follow you," Why was he making this so hard for her? They stay silent for quite a while.

"Must you really know?" she says, staring up at him. He nods without hesitation.

"The Prefect common room will be quite empty at this hour," he suggests, pointing in a direction. She is immediately inflicted with choice. To tell or not to tell?

She looks away, then down at her feet. "Alright,"

As they enter the Prefect common room, he suddenly turns around and takes her hands in his. She feels how soft and unscarred they are, wondering why they are like that – he plays quidditch religiously. She can't help but blush, the coloration rising slowly but steadily through her flushed cheeks. He smiles back at her, the actual thing without a wall, without a limit. Just an untainted, pure smile. She feels like crying. Why is he so nice to her? A tear runs down her cheek.

"Now, Lily, I don't like seeing you upset." He says slowly, his smile becoming slightly sad. "But if you promise to smile after you cry, I'll let you cry." She feels more tears coming out of her eyes, an indication of her shame, her guilt. "So, what's wrong?"

"My…" she pauses suddenly, unable to go on. A few more tears threaten to drop. She tries to force them back.

"There's no bloody point trying to not cry Lily," he says, causing her and himself to smile a little at the swear word. "I'm not going to change my opinion of you."

"You seem very experienced with all this consulting business," she says through her tears. He chuckles a little.

"Me? Consulting other people? Please. I'm too good for that." He says, "I just – oh merlin, this is so bloody cliché, what I'm going to say next."

"What?"

He looks at her skeptically. "I'm not going to say now. I really don't like clichés."

She bursts into tears, not really knowing why. He looks at her, alarmed. "I'll say it, I'll say it!" through her tears she is quite unable to reassure him that her crying is not because of him. "I just care about you…and besides," there is a slight pause as he grins that boyish smile, "You look much happier smiling."

She cannot help but laugh and say, "Oh, really?" sarcastically. He smiles back.

"So, are you ready to spill?" he asks. She wipes her tears away with the back of her hand. "Just take your time."

She takes a deep breath, "My…my mom's…dead," the last word comes out as a whisper and her eyes are filled with tears once again. The room is met with silence as she sobs quietly and he stares at the wall, unable to say anything. With a soft pull he brings her closer to him and wraps his arms around her, letting her tears sink into the dark material of his robe. "It's…not…f-fair," she says, sobbing as he tightens his grip.

"I know," he says, his own voice cracking. "I know,"

"I'm s-sorry I've been avoiding you. I've been avoiding everyone…" she says, more to herself than him. He says nothing, but instead loosens his grip on her waist and looks down at her, smiling. A single tear runs down his cheek, causing a strange sight. She has never seen him cry before, not even after he had been hit square in the chest by a bludger. "I don't even know why I've been avoiding people…especially you…I…"

She is swept into a soft, caressing kiss as he brings bought her closer to him again. Closing her eyes, she lets it wash over her, a wave of intense emotion. This is not their first kiss, but perhaps the most meaningful one so far. Has he already forgiven her?...Why is he so nice to her? She feels like bursting out into tears again. Sometimes, she really hates him.

"It's alright,"

"No, no it's not!" she says, pushing herself off him. He looks at her, overwhelmed by the sudden change in her mood. "Why, why are you so nice to me James?" she says, looking down at the floor. "You've always called me a pain in the neck, so why…why?"

He then says simply, "Because I love you Lily. And there's nothing else to it."