A/N: Just a small oneshot of Lily and James, seventh year.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me.
The Turning Point
The Hogwarts castle stood tall and proud. The stone walls were strong and supported the great mass of students that came every year by the Hogwarts train. There were four towers at each corner containing the four diverse houses. It was different, unique, magnificent. One would be able to stare at it and never grow tired. The moving portraits, the suit of armor, the ever-changing staircases and many ghosts who haunt the halls, it was all so magical. The building itself contained many secrets, secrets that even the Headmaster might not know about. So many things happen inside these walls. Anyone able to go to Hogwarts would be considered lucky, who could actually proudly say 'my school's a castle that teaches witch craft and wizardry'? Not many, at least not in the Muggle World. One thing particular about this castle was that it had only a few selective windows, and only on the four tall towers.
Looking out at one of the window was a boy with messy black hair and mischievous hazel eyes that were hidden behind a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. He was James Potter, Head Boy, ultimate prankster, dazzling good looks, charming personality, quidditch captain and star player, not to mention a ladies' man. The usual smile on his lips was gone and his face was deep in thought. His mind wandering to various thoughts but his eyes were focused on one thing, the group of girls who were sitting by the pond. His gaze was directed at one girl in particular, one with fiery red hair, captivating green eyes and a radiant smile.
She was Lily Evans, Head Girl, model student, kind-hearted, a beauty and intelligent beyond her years. To James Potter, it was impossible not to love her. She was everything he'd ever wanted. She competed with his wits and drove him mad with her temper. She never backed down and was brave enough to face anything. She was quirky with her sense of humor. She didn't swoon at the sight of him like the other girls; instead she would merely ignore him, making him want to chase her all the more. Her eyes held determination and passion. He admired everything about her, her hair, her eyes, her figure, her brains and anything else one could think of. She was his match made in heaven. Too bad that she didn't feel the same way.
She had captured his attention ever since their first encounter. It had been first year, potions class. They had been paired up to make a potion. He had lounged back and told her to do as she pleased and she had been furious. He had smirked at her and reminded her if she failed this her mark would suffer. Seething with anger Lily made the potion all by herself, rather expertly. When she had finished she kicked his chair, which had been balancing on two legs, making it fall so that he'd hit his bum on the floor. She smiled at him sweetly and simply said 'payback'. Then she turned swiftly around, her flaming hair swishing, and left, leaving him gaping at her back.
James had sat there completely dumbfounded. His mouth was open and agape, his eyes wide with surprise and his bottom sore from the impact. She had gotten the best of him. He had stared at her in wonder. His friends came by after, Sirius had been laughing so much that tears came out. Remus helped him up while Peter shifted his weight nervously asking if he was alright. James nodded, still in a daze, but he had enough sense to smack Sirius on the back of his head.
It must have been her spirit that caught his attention first. Then her eyes, her green eyes that sparkled with mirth at his misfortune. And then it had to be her hair, streaming behind her like a sea of fire.
It had been an instant attraction. As the time passed on he got more curious to what kind of reaction he could get out of her. So he pranked her, claiming it was revenge for his humiliation. She would fight back with some of her own. He loved the challenge, it drove him on. He saw her as competition, a rival, an equal.
Suddenly after coming back for forth year he noticed something remotely different about her. She had the same hair, eyes, even her height was relatively the same. He figured it out; she grew in other ways than up. He watched with saucer eyes that indeed puberty had done some good on Lily Evans. She had glared at him and told him to close his mouth before flies flew in. He snapped out of his admiration and gave her a rude remark. She had hit him and ran away to a compartment.
Sirius had slid up to him smiling like a cat, 'check out Evans, quite a looker ain't she?' he said. James had punched him and told him to shut it. Nobody talks about her like that, not even his best friend.
His rival had now turned to his prize, a goal, his desire. He realized now she was in fact a girl, an attractive girl to be specific. He sought out for her in body and in conquest. She intrigued him to the very least. She made him want things in more ways than one. She was a tease, a challenge and James loved to conquer challenges. Nothing was out of his reach or so he had thought.
It wasn't as easy as he suspected, Lily was always slipping away form him, farther each time. She would brush him off and tell him to grow up. But he had grown up, he was tall and much more filled out than the skinny little boy he used to be. He hadn't understood what she meant then. To steam off his frustration he dated other girls. His attention span never lasted long and he'd move from girl to girl, no one ever satisfied him. Now Lily would have been a different story.
Then he started thinking maybe she doesn't see his talents, his good points. So he started to show off, on the quidditch field, in class, in the halls, even in the common room, hoping she'd get it now. Was she impressed? No, instead his plan backfired and she stared at him with disgust each time.
He just didn't get it, what's not to like about him? He was handsome he knew that, the girls tell him that everyday. He was smart; he's got marks to prove it. He was athletic, was he not the best quidditch player? He was tall; he easily towered over her small frame. He had charm and confidence. What's not to like?
She made him furious and yet he still wanted her. His attraction had become an obsession. Day in and day out all he thought about was her. She occupied every thought. He hadn't noticed that he was falling for her, and falling fast.
She rejected and refused to be with him ever, proclaiming she'd rather date the giant squid out in the pond. It hurt. It hurt more than anything he had felt. She had pierced his heart and left him bleeding.
But it wasn't until the Yule ball that he realized he didn't just want her as a possession but instead he wanted Lily, the person. He wanted to be near her and hear her laugh at his jokes. He wanted share secrets and stories. He wanted to hold her and feel her hand in his. He wanted an intimate relationship with her because she made him happy.
Every girl there was staring at him anticipating a dance request but he only had eyes for Lily. She was in the arms of some Ravenclaw wearing the most wonderful dress he had seen. She glowed under the chandeliers and her movements were graceful. She took his breath away. He wanted to take her and hide her so that she'll be his and no one else's. Jealousy ran in his veins. He clenched his fists as he saw her blush prettily at a compliment the bloke gave her.
He became protective of her. Defending her honor when it was at stake and watching over her. He stayed a good distance away from her to give her space. He was happy just being able to see her. He stopped his pestering and merely acknowledged her when she passed by. He finally understood what it was to be 'grown up' as Lily had put it.
It was hard living right next door to her as Head Boy and not saying a single word he wanted to say. She tolerated him now and even smiled when she saw him. They shared many moments together, sometimes doing homework, talking or enjoying each other's company in silence. She started calling him James, not Potter but James. And he suddenly loved his name. It was new and refreshing. There were times when he'd be a friend to her and comfort her in her times of need. It was nice but it didn't satisfy him. He hungered for more. But he kept his emotions at bay.
And now here he was watching her once again, wishing that she'd wake up and see that he was madly in love with her. A sigh escaped him. There she was laughing again. Her cheeks were flushed from the cold February air and her hair stood out like a sore thumb in the vast white snow. She's got to be the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. He smiled softly. "Lily," he whispered into the wind. And as if the wind carried his voice to her she looked up at him. Their eyes locked and she turned away first, blushing so red it consumed her whole face. James felt his heart soar, for him to cause such a reaction from her could only mean a good thing. Perhaps he was reading too much into it. She took a sneaking glance his way before quickly looking away.
He gave a half-smile, maybe he was creeping her out. James ran his hand through his hair. A habit he had yet to get rid of. He had tried to stop but as they say, old habits die hard. He turned away from the window and moved back into the room. None of his friends were here, as they usually were hanging out in his private bedroom. Sirius was probably snogging some girl in a broom closet, Remus would be in the library and he had no idea about Peter.
James longed to go back to the window, as if a magnetic force was acting upon him. He was so drawn to the red-haired girl. There's something about her that he never grew tired of. James shook his head, he was hopeless. He flopped down onto his four-poster bed and stared at the ceiling with little interest. His mind was reeling with thoughts of Lily. He just couldn't get enough of her.
James sighed again and got up. He had to be doing something, anything to forget her for a while, even just for a moment. He made his way to the door. When he opened it he didn't expect what he found.
Lily Evans was standing there with her hand raised to knock on his door. She flushed crimson and looked down at her feet. Her hands were clasped in front of her, she looked adorable. He wanted to pick her up and kiss her. James resisted the urge.
Silence. Neither of them spoke, but they fumbled for the words. It was James who broke the ice. "Did you want something?" he asked her.
She tucked in a stray hair behind her ear, "I-um… that is I was wondering-" she stuttered out.
James gulped, Lily was never nervous… at least not around him. His heart leaped up into his throat. He couldn't help but have a small bit of hope.
She looked up at him tentatively, "I was- Were you just watching me James?" she blurted out.
James stared at her. How did he respond to that? He pondered over the question.
Lily blushed, "I'm sorry, it was rude of me to ask… I don't know what came over me, I'll just go now," she turned around all flustered.
James grabbed her hand, it was his chance. She opened up a door for him, now he had to step through. "Would you be offended if I said yes?" he asked.
She turned back to him and looked at him. Surprise was written on her face.
He smiled, "Because to be honest I was watching you." he confessed.
She opened her mouth but no sound came out, she was in shock.
"I'm sorry, you're probably repulsed by it," James said looking away.
Lily smiled genuinely and his stomach lurched she seemed to be doing that a lot to him now. "No it's fine, I was just wondering," she said. There was a pause before she opened her mouth again. "Can I ask you a question?" she asked peering at him from under her eyelashes.
"You already did," he said grinning.
She frowned, "You know what I mean," she said with her hands on her hips, looking bossy and unconsciously turning him on.
James nodded. "Anything,"
She hesitated for a moment and James looked at her curiously.
What was she going to ask him?
"Why don't you ask me out any more?" she asked tilting her head to one side.
James blinked. He gave her a small smile, "I finally learned to take no for an answer,"
"Oh," was all she said.
She almost sounded disappointed at his answer or maybe it was his imagination.
It was quiet again and James was getting more nervous as the seconds ticked by. He wanted to tell her that he loved her but his fear kept his mouth zipped.
She surprised him by speaking again, "I guess I wasn't exactly the nicest girl when it came to you," she smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry,"
"No, I deserved it. I was a prat… as you kept reminding me," he gave her a lop-sided smile.
She smiled wider, "well when you put it that way," and she laughed when he pouted at her.
"What happened to the apologetic Lily?" he said flicking her nose gently with a finger while she tried to move away unsuccessfully. "Didn't think you'd get away from a quiddtich star did you?" he said smirking.
Lily glared but went half-hearted since she had a smile on her lips, "What happened to the humble James?" she said playfully copying his words.
He laughed, "There is no humble James… only slightly less arrogant James," he smirked.
"Oh and here I thought you are actually grown up," she teased.
"But I am," a smile tugged at his lips as he leaned down close to her ear, "would you like me to show you?"
Lily's gaze flickered downward before she blushed crimson at the implication of his words, "I don't think that will be necessary,"
His simple comment created mass amount of tension in the air. Realizing what he said blood rushed southward and he groaned inwardly. "So is that why you came up here?" James said trying in vain to carry on a conversation.
She smiled, "Yes, I suppose you could say that,"
"Really? That's all?" his eyebrows knitted together trying to understand the strange ways of the female.
Lily fidgeted under his gaze; "Well not entirely…" she trailed off vaguely.
James was hanging onto her every word. Could it possibly be that she was seeking out his company? Did he dare to hope? "What do you mean?" he asked. He couldn't help himself; he needed to know even if it wasn't the answer he was hoping to get.
She blushed, "Well you might think it's stupid," she said to the floor.
He reached out and lifted her chin up to face him, "Lily Evans, Head Girl, the smartest witch of her year saying something stupid? I wouldn't believe it," he teased but it came out sounding endearing.
Lily gave him a shy smile, "Well I thought perhaps we should plan a Valentine's Dance," when he didn't answer she continued hastily, "It's just that well, we had dances, balls and feasts for other holidays except for Valentine's and I think we should have one and with all the evil going on Merlin knows we need something to look forward to-"
He stopped her with his finger on her lips. Her warmth transferred through and he wanted to replace his finger with his lips. He bit his lower lip. She stared at him with wide eyes. Was she afraid of him or just shocked that he dared such an intimate gesture? He removed his finger swiftly and attempted to cover his blush with a smile. "It's a great idea, couldn't have thought of something better myself," he complimented.
She flushed pink, "Alright then, I'll go ask the Headmaster for his permission," Lily turned to leave but stopped and turned back to him again. "I- um… maybe we could… no it's nothing," she gave him a quick smile before walking away.
James stared after her longingly. Her auburn hair swishing just like the first time he had met her. He was so sure she was going to ask him to go to the dance with her but as usual Lily was turning away from him just out of his grasp. James wondered if she'll ever come as close as she did today? Would she ever open the door for him again? Did he have the courage to accept her invitation? His fist clenched. He's a Griffindor, he wasn't going to just stand there doing nothing. With that thought in mind he went after her.
He ran out the Head's common room and raced down the hall. James saw a flash of red around the corner, "Lily!" he called out.
She turned to face him.
He was going to ask her to the Valentine's Dance and maybe, just maybe she just might say yes.
A/N: it's one of those endings where the reader can figure out the ending themselves. This was just a random oneshot but it'd be nice to hear what you have to say. So please REVIEW!