This originally started out as a fluffy (and rather cheesy) 'things a sweet guy would do' / 'how to keep a girl' sort of thing. However, it escalated into something much different and deeper to that although remnants of the original plot are still there. I hope you enjoy it :-)

To Love Her

Summary: There is only one way to love her. One way to capture her heart. And only one person who fits the job description. JamesLily Oneshot.

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You will know from the first time you see her that she is something special. In that first moment when that shy eleven-year-old girl takes your breath away. Watch in fascination as her vibrant shiny red hair dances across her back as she walks. Notice her eyes. How beautiful they are. The way their intense green stands out from her pretty face and how they sparkle with excitement and anxiety.

Smile at her. She will smile shyly back and fight back a blush. Go against everything anybody ever told you and march right up to her with a cockiness to rival anyone's. She will be startled at your forwardness. Try to charm her with your wit. She will see right through you and her eyes will narrow with dislike. Be taken aback. Wrack your brains for every reason why she could possibly not like you. Find none.

As time goes on grow more arrogant, if even possible. Your head will swell with self confidence. She will hate you. Still be baffled as to why. Show off at every opportunity. She will glare at you with dislike. Persist anyway.

For the next five years of your schooling, pursue her relentlessly. Watch her grow from a cute girl into a beautiful woman and ask her out everyday. Each time her face will screw up with dislike. She will yell at you. She will tell you that she hates you. She will throw every curse under the sun at you. Your heart should sting with hurt. Don't show it. Don't let your cocky grin fall off your face.

Every Valentines Day buy her bunches of red roses and chocolates. Levitate them up to her dormitory and wait for her scream when she wakes up to a house elf dressed in gold wings and carrying a harp that you bullied into singing her love ballads. She will throw everything out the window and order the house elf to return to the kitchens. Know that she knows that it was you. Don't worry that she ignores you.

Stare at her. In every class, at every meal, every moment that she is near you. She will catch your gaze and glare nastily. If she doesn't then she will hurl more abuse at you. Grin cockily back at her. Pretend her words don't faze you even as they cut your heart. She'll appreciate it one day.

During your sixth year you will be hit with a sudden realisation. Gape like a fish out of water for twenty minutes as your head spins. Know in your heart for the first time that you have fallen in love with her. Understand that your silly crush has escalated to more than you ever imagined.

Tell her. Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself. You will anyway. Your words will mean nothing to her. Scathingly she will tell you that you don't know what love is. That you are incapable of loving anybody but yourself. Stand tall. Don't let your face fall or your shoulders droop. Declare with utmost certainty that you do love her. She will scoff.

Keep asking her out. Now is not the time to change tradition. Her fury and irritation from the last six years will grow and for the millionth time she will reject you. Know that one day she will say yes. Never give up on her.

In your seventh year you will become Head Boy. Be as shell-shocked, appalled and dismayed as everybody else that knows you. For the first time in your life take something seriously. Grow up. Take responsibility. And more than anything show her that you've changed. That you've changed for her. Know that it's the only way she will ever take you seriously.

She will notice, even if she pretends that she doesn't. She will secretly wonder why you've stopped asking her out. Be mature, maybe it might rub off on your best friend. Or not.

Cautiously, she will become your friend. Feel your heart swell with happiness. Know it's because of her. With time your friendship will grow. Learn to depend on her like she does on you. Notice that she is even more perfect that you ever imagined. Love her more than you thought possible.

One day you will find her sitting alone in an empty corridor. She will be crying. Feel your heart fill with concern and worry. Comfort her. Wipe away her tears. Reassure her that you will always be there for her. She will be grateful but she still won't tell you why she's crying. Wonder but don't ask again. You will never know the answer.

Be a gentleman. Hold the door open for her and wait for her to leave first. Give up your seat when they are all gone. Do it without her having to ask. Her respect for you will grow. Just seeing her smile is worth it.

Know how to make her smile especially when she is down. Charm her with your jokes. Now she laughs instead of glares. Be surprised at the change and smile with contentment in knowing that you can impress her.

Every now and then pick her up and flirt with her. She will scream at you to put her down but she won't be able to stop grinning. Know that she really loves it. Tickle her mercilessly and watch her squeal with laughter as tears run down her face. Realise how much her smiles mean to you.

Know that she is slowly falling for you too. Don't be smug and don't push her. Wait for her to come to you. It will be worth it. She'll be scared. She'll hesitate. Wait patiently and grin for all your worth when she bashfully admits that she likes you.

Kiss her with every ounce of passion and love you feel. She will kiss you back with as much desire as you. Let your head spin with giddiness. Savour every second of it. Know that you will never forget this moment.

You will begin dating. Allow yourself to feel as if you are living in a dream. Plan a romantic date full of cheesy things you wouldn't normally do just because you know how much it means to her. She will feel touched at your efforts. Take her for a romantic candle lit dinner. Accompany her on a late night broomstick ride.

Apologise when you fight. Swallow your pride; it only gets in the way. Don't go to sleep without making up. Wish her sweet dreams every night. Know that she will always go to sleep with a smile.

Be patient when she takes forever to get ready. You may be content leaving your hair sticking up like you've just been electrocuted. She is not. Understand that she needs to take the time to make herself beautiful despite how many times you tell her that she looks beautiful anyway.

Draw on or rub her back when she is trying to sleep or rest. No, not with your quill you idiot, with your finger. She will never turn down a massage. Kiss her gently and sweep her hair off her face. She will feel comforted by your presence. Watch her angelic face as she sleeps so peacefully. Know that her small smile is because of you. Wonder how you were so lucky to get her. Don't dwell on it. She is just as lucky to have you.

Take her hand when you walk next to each other. Every time she will always get butterflies when you do it. Don't care who else sees.

Sometimes she will be moody and distant. Sometimes she will just want to be alone. Be understanding. Give her space when she needs it. Don't overbear her. Let her know that you will be there for her whenever she needs you, when she's ready.

Take her for walks at night. Gaze at her beautiful face in the soft moonlight. Sometimes you will just talk together. Sometimes she will just want to walk in silence. Let the peace calm you and feel content. When it's cold outside, give her your cloak. She will refuse at first until she shivers again. Then she will relent. Hold her close and keep her warm. She will feel safe in your arms.

Come up behind her, put your arms around her, squeeze her tightly against your chest, and whisper softly into her ear. It will send shivers up her spine. Hold her in your arms as long as possible. It makes her feel wanted. Maybe she will lean her head contentedly against your chest and listen to your heart beating softly in rhythm. Maybe she will kiss you. Or maybe she will murmur that she loves you. Know that you could stay like this forever. Realise also that like everything it has to come to an end.

Love her with all your heart. Tell her everyday how much you love her. Leave her with no doubt in her mind.

Leaving school will be hard for both of you. Keep each other strong. She will need you as much as you need her. When you move in together, let her keep her collection of soft toys as much as you hate them, and she will let you hang your ridiculous quidditch posters on the walls. Learn to give and take. She will too.

Treasure the moment when you exchange wedding vows. Know that life cannot get any better. Feel your heart catch in your throat. When you hold your newborn son in your arms, marvel at his tuft of messy jet black hair, his tiny fingers, his perfect mouth. Feel prouder than you ever have in your life. Know that you will never feel this happy ever again. Realise that your life is complete.

Fear for your wife and child when you go into hiding. Trust your friends with all of your lives. Cherish every moment you spend with your loved ones knowing that any day could be the last. Watch your son grow with pride and joy. Instil so many hopes and dreams into him. Wish on every star for him to live the best life possible. Know that there is nothing you wouldn't do for him and your wife.

You always knew you would die for her. That you would risk your life for hers without blinking an eye. Feel your heart thump with fear when He arrives at your house. Realise that there is only one way He could have found you. Feel the hurt and dismay at the betrayal of your friend. Don't dwell on it. Know that what is most important right now is protecting your family.

Run to her. Hold her in your arms and know in your heart like you've never known anything before that this is the last time. The last time you will hold her. The last time you will kiss her. The last time you will hear her sweet voice. The last time you will gaze into her stunning emerald eyes. Kiss her with all the love you possess. Hold your son and kiss him tenderly on the forehead. Allow a single tear to fall from your eye before you turn away.

Tell her to run. To take your son and run. Watch and listen to her as she whispers "I love you" for the last time before fleeing, running for all she's worth. Prepare yourself as He enters. Stand tall and proud as you always have. Watch Him barely glance at you before whispering those final words. Know this is the end.

See her face in your mind for the last time as the curse hits you. Hope with everything you have that she will live. That your son will have the life you always hoped for him. Pray that they will be able to carry on without you.

You will die without ever knowing what happens to her. Know only that you fought with your last breath to save her and your beautiful son. Know only that you died for them both.

Know that you lived every moment of your life to the fullest. That you loved with your whole heart. That you never held back. That you fought for everything that mattered to you, for everything you held dear, for everyone you loved. Know that everything you did you would never regret.

There was only going to be one way to love her. One way to capture her heart. You were the only person who could make her smile with such happiness, make her heart swell with such love and make her weak at the knees. And in turn she was the only woman who could make your every dream come true. That is why you chose to love her.

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Thanks for reading and I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it. And for good measure, the classic line that seems to end every story: please review :-)