Lily Evans couldn't stand him. She knew he was watching her at that exact moment with his perfect hazel eyes and lopsided grin. She would not look over at him, she decided. She would not. His eyes were boring into her back. His eyes were the type that betrayed every feeling in his eye, if you knew him well enough. Sometimes she felt as if his eyes could see right through her. Not that that mattered. James Potter was a risk that Lily was not willing to take. Sometimes, she could see unmasked pain in his eyes when she turned him down. Lily told herself that he was pretending. He only wanted to prove that he could win her over.
Which was why, Lily refused to let him. Or at least to let him know. She made the mistake of looking up and her eyes found James in the corner with his friends. His friends were talking about something, but James was looking in her direction. He tossed her that lopsided grin, she had always loved and Lily tore her gaze away from him.
Lily pressed her quill to the parchment and began to write, but she couldn't concentrate. At least not on Transfiguration. Her mind was still on James, who she had to spend at least two hours a day with because of patrol, head duties, and tutoring.
"Ready, Evans?" he said, standing up. James was her stinking Transfiguration tutor. Lily had been forced to tutor him in Charms. Her weakness was his strength and vice versa.
"Yes, Potter," Lily answered stuffing her things in her bag and following him out of the common room. James didn't say a word to her as they walked down the hallway.
Something was wrong. Lily could tell. He normally would have taken the chance to ask her out. "All right, Potter?" she asked, looking up at him.
"Hm?" he turned to her. "Oh yeah. I'm fine."
He looked away and Lily took the opportunity to watch him. His eyes were glazed over as if he was trying to mask all feeling. His mouth was moving into a small frown as he looked at the ground as he walked. For once, he wasn't running a hand through his hair as if trying to make it look as if he had just climbed off of a broomstick. What in the world was wrong? She wondered, tempted to ask him. But, she refrained. She didn't know him well enough and he would take that as an encouragement for him to ask her out.
They finally reached the library without sharing another word between them. They sat down and Lily pulled out her essay and continued to watch James as he read over what she had written. Lily didn't notice that they were sitting a bit too close to each other.
"Well," he began pulling Lily out of her reverie. "I don't know if you quite understand the concept," he said and then began to explain while setting the essay in front of her. He pointed at something she had written, brushing his arms against her quite accidentally.
Lily could feel a brief shiver dance up her arms, and her concentration was shot. James was talking and pointing at her wand and showing her a motion with the wand, but she couldn't hear a word that he was saying. He placed his hand on her wand arm and showed her the motions of the spell.
"Okay, now you try it," he said.
Confused, she looked up into his breathtaking hazel eyes. "Try what?" she asked. "Oh, the spell."
"Evans, did you hear a word that I said?" he asked, sounding somewhat annoyed.
"Oh, well, not really. I heard you say to try it," she admitted, blushing.
Now, he looked like he was struggling to hold back a smile. "Thinking about something else?" he asked.
"Yes," she said almost defiantly, hoping he wouldn't ask her about what.
"Maybe we should try this when you feel like listening," James suggested.
"Oh, I'm ready," Lily said. "Sorry."
This time Lily forced herself to concentrate on his words, but she still found herself wondering what was wrong with James. She could tell by the way he spoke to her, the way his eyes weren't shining because of his favorite subject, the way he wouldn't look at her.
"What's wrong?" Lily asked, without realizing that she had interrupted James.
"Huh?" he asked. His hand was still on hers.
"What's wrong?" she repeated.
"Nothing..." he began.
"Something's wrong," Lily argued. "What is it?"
"Nothing's wrong," he repeated.
"You're acting strange," Lily said, moving her free hand to stuff a red strand of hair behind her ear. "Tell me."
"I already did," he said as defiantly as she had spoken to him earlier.
"What's the big deal? What does it matter to you?" James demanded, looking annoyed.
"I want to know, Potter," she said, not even sure why it did matter.
"Do you really?" he asked. "Honestly, do you actually want to know?"
"Yes, I just said..." but James interrupted her by pressing his lips against hers. Not exactly sure what to make of what was happening, she kissed him back. She could feel his arms moving to her waist and pulling her closer and she moved her own arms around his neck, brushing her hand against his hair lightly. Suddenly, it was as if she had finally realized what she was doing. She leapt away from him while reaching for her bag and running out of the library.
"Lily!" she heard him call. She could hear the librarian admonishing him for talking so loudly and she took that chance to hide in the Astronomy Tower. She collapsed on the ground, confused. She couldn't believe that he had kissed her, but even more she couldn't believe that she had kissed him back. And, oh, was he a good kisser.
She realized with a start that she had left her wand and her essay on the table in the library. She stubbornly decided to get it later. She was not going to go where James could find her. She leaned against the wall as her already confused mind tried to process what had just happened.
James couldn't believe what he had done. He had kissed Lily Evans. Not only that, but she had kissed him back. Never could he have imagined that she would actually respond to him. Why had he done it? he wondered as he was kicked out of the library. Lily had known something was wrong with him, but wouldn't let it go. So he had decided to tell her that she was the problem, but instead he had ended up kissing her.
A smile tore across his face. She may have run away, but he knew he could find her. He had to know what had happened in there. He ran to the common room where the other three Marauders sat.
"Back so soon?" Sirius asked.
"I need the map," James said.
"Why?" Remus asked, looking up.
"I'll explain later, Moony," James said as Remus handed it over and James hurried away. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," he muttered as the map began to form over the blank parchment. It took him maybe five minutes to find the solitary dot labeled Lily Evans in the Astronomy Tower. He took off and found himself pushing open the door while tucking her wand into his pocket.
The redhead looked up from her place by the window and she was suddenly on her feet.
"What do you want?" she asked as coldly as she could.
"What happened down there, Lily?" he asked.
She didn't reply. Instead, she turned so that her back was facing him. Annoyed anew, James approached her.
"Lily," he said.
She jumped realizing he had moved closer to her. James placed an arm on hers, but she started to move away before realizing that she was already practically up against the wall.
"What do you want?" she demanded, rather rudely.
"I want to know what happened in the library," he said, stubbornly.
Lily tried to move around him, but he reached for her wrist forcing her to stop.
"Let go of me," she said, anger flashing in her green eyes.
"Not until you explain what happened."
"You kissed me," she said. "That's a…"
James interrupted her by pressing another kiss on her lips. She didn't want to kiss him back. She tried not to, but she couldn't help it. His arms wrapped around her slim waist and he pressed her to the wall. She found her arms wrapping around his neck and she couldn't help it when her hands reached up to touch his messy hair. His tongue begged for entrance against her lips which parted obediently.
James ended the kiss rather suddenly, but did not remove his arms from around her waist.
"Let me go," she said.
"You kissed me back in the library," he said, ignoring her. "And then here again. Why?"
"Let me go," she repeated.
"Not until you tell me," he said.
Lily wouldn't look at him. She reached for her wand in her pocket. She wouldn't have actually hexed him, but she could threaten him. Then she realized by James' smirk that he had her wand.
She glared at him, unsure of what to say.
"We can stay like this for ages if you really want," he said. "I definitely don't mind."
"Let go of me, Potter," she said, fruitlessly.
"We don't have to go over that again do we, Lily Flower?" he asked, his voice close to her ear.
Lily moved her hands to his chest and tried to push him away, but James didn't budge. He laughed tantalizingly before bending down to kiss her again. Why couldn't she pull away from his kiss? She thought finding it impossible to pull away. His kisses were nothing like she would have expected. They were gentle and sweet. She finally managed to end the kiss and pulled out of his grasp before he could stop her. Then, she realized that he hadn't tried to stop her.
He watched with an amused expression as she walked to the door. Then, she remembered. Her wand. She whirled around.
"Give me my wand," she said.
James simply shook his head.
Lily placed her hands on her hips and glared at him for what seemed like the millionth time.
James didn't seem to care.
"James…" she said, and then realized her mistake. She had never called him by his first name. At least not out loud.
He grinned again. "I think I like that better than 'Potter'," he said. "Why do we call each other by our surnames, anyway?"
Lily didn't answer. "Give me my wand, Potter," she spat.
"James," he said frowning slightly. "Call me James."
"No," Lily said, still trying to get control of the situation with James.
He grinned mischievously as he neared her.
"Don't you dare get any closer," she said in a low tone.
"Tell me how you feel," he demanded, his eyes studying her, but to her surprise he didn't get any closer.
"No," she whispered.
"Why not?" he asked.
"Just give me my wand and let me leave," Lily said, softly.
"Why not?" Lily asked.
"I need to know what's going on, Lily."
"It doesn't matter," she said.
"Yes, it does, Lils. Why can't you just tell me the truth?" he asked. Lily didn't answer. "Fine. Then, I'll tell you. I love you Lily Evans."
"N…" Lily started to deny it.
"It's the truth, Lily, whether you'll believe it or not. I love you. And I think you love me too."
She didn't know what to say. Should she continue to deny it or tell him the truth? She stared at him. He was beginning to look a bit agitated. "Fine, Evans," he said, coldly. "I give up."
Lily was forced to watch him as he walked out. She could hear his footsteps on the stairs and she fell to the ground, burying her head in her arms. The tears fell and part of her wanted to run after him, but she couldn't. So she cried.
James sighed as he walked into the Gryffindor common room. The rest of the Marauders had already gone up to bed. He groaned as he sat down on the couch and pulled out Lily's wand from his robe. He had forgotten about it until he had reached the common room.
Lily. He knew she felt the same way. Why did she have to make things so difficult? He groaned as he leaned back on the couch and before he knew it, he was asleep.
Lily walked into the common room an hour after James had left. She froze when she saw him asleep on the couch. She bit her lip and reached for her wand on the table in front of him. She stood there a moment before making a decision. She pulled out a piece of parchment and began to write.
I didn't know what to say.
Lily groaned, pointing her wand at it and clearing what she had written. Dear James, she tried again. I should have…
She froze again, not noticing that James was slowly waking up.
She stared at the parchment trying to make herself write something.
James was watching her. What was she doing here? Why was she sitting across from him?
I don't know how to say this. I should have…
Lily let out a frustrated moan as she crumpled the paper in her hand and tossed it into the fire. "I give up," she said to herself.
"Since when do you give up?" James asked.
Lily jumped and her eyes flashed up to his.
"How long have you been awake?" she asked.
"Not sure," he shrugged. "What were you writing?"
"I…" she said. "Well, I was going to write you a note, but I couldn't think of anything to say so I just kind of gave up and…I still don't know how to say it. Which is why I'm rambling now. Look, I didn't say anything up in the Astronomy Tower, but I should have. I couldn't and now I'm trying to…."
James couldn't help the amusement that spread across his face.
"…tell you that, well, I…I…love you," she said the last few words under her breath.
James smiled as he stood up and walked around the table that separated them.
"That's all you had to say, Lily Flower," he whispered as he pressed his lips against hers. This time Lily didn't even bother to fight his kisses. "I love you, too."