Title - The Girls by the Lake

Summary - If there was one thing that James Potter wanted most in life, it was to be with Lily Evans. However, Lily doesn't quite think his intentions are as pure as he says, so he must prove his love to her.

It was completely and utterly downpouring. The grass was a mushy mud underneath her buckled shoes. Her hair was clumped together in thick strands around her head. The mascara ran down her face leaving unflattering black streaks. Her clothes were drenched and clung to her petite frame. However, she barely noticed anything but the fact that she couldn't see the face lingering only a couple of centimeters away.

A hand reached out and brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. Her breathing hitched in her throat and a yearning for the boy in front of her intensified. How could she have been so stupid for the past two years? How could she have not noticed that behind the pranks, the boasting, the cravings for attention was a sweet, kind, witty, smart, gorgeous boy?

His hand cupped her face and before she knew what was happening, he pulled her into a soft, gentle kiss. They were slippery from the rain. The lips were so soft and so careful with hers. The chastity of the kiss wasn't what she was expecting at all. She knew him to be a rough, passionate kisser. How many times had she seen him ravishing other girls? She watched him many times before forcefully making-out with any girl that wanted to. Once he had even forced her into a kiss two years previous. Now, on the other hand, he treated her as though she might break if he was too rough.

"James," she moaned into his lips as her arms found their way around his neck.

She pushed her mouth harder onto is, playfully tugging on his bottom lip with her teeth. He got the message. Immediately, his mouth opened and the kiss suddenly became the kiss that she had been expecting, been longing for. She moaned again into his mouth as his hands found their way down her body.

He pushed her backwards, bracing her back as he led her to the ground. Her back sunk into the wet ground. Reaching towards her, he started to unbutton her top as his mouth started to run kisses down her jaw. So intoxicated with the love she felt for him, she didn't object to what he was doing even though her mind was screaming for her to stop him. Her heart and body wanted him and only him. Consequences be damned. How could they matter during a wonderful moment as this?

"James," she whispered as she gripped his shoulders.

"Lily," he murmured back into her collarbone.

Her heart sped up as a clap of thunder sounded. Her eyes snapped open only to snap them shut quickly again due to the rain pelting down into them. The whole situation suddenly became clear as she felt him withering his hands under her back to undo the clasp to her bra. Her chest rapidly went up and down. She wanted to tell him to sod off but somehow she couldn't find it in herself to do so. She was becoming weak with him… she was becoming too easy.

"No," she told him feebly as her hands weakly pushed on his chest, "James, don't."

She felt the clasp come undone, and she was fairly certain that he wasn't going to stop. She let out a small sob as the cold rain started to whip her face. He pulled back and hovered over her acting as her umbrella. A mixture of tears and rain ran down her face. His hair hung over her in thick, drenched strands. His glasses had been discarded long ago. A smudge of dirt smeared across his cheek.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?" he sounded concerned as he breathed heavily.

"We can't," she whispered. "I can't."

"Is it the rain?" He laughed with a dazzling smile playing on his face. "We can go inside."

"Get away."

She scrambled up onto her elbows. They squinted to see each other through the downpour. She wanted nothing more to kiss him once more but thought better of it. The pact. What about the pact, her mind raced. He's just using you. You can't let him use you. Before he could utter another word, she jumped up and ran off towards the castle as she buttoned her shirt.

Lily Evans had a reputation at Hogwarts, as all the girls seemed to have a reputation. There were the girls known as the sluts, the inexperienced, and the ice queens. Lily was known as an ice queen, a girl that's cool exterior could not be broken by any boy. Not once in seven years at Hogwarts had she let a guy get close to her. Sure she's went on dates and kissed a few boys but as soon as they tried to pull anything on her, they were hexed into next week. It only made the boys try harder for her as they wanted to be the one to have her first and gain the ultimate respect from all the guys at Hogwarts.

So when James Potter started to ask her out every time he saw her since the end of fourth year, Lily knew that he only wanted sex and nothing else. He was one of the popular jocks who felt everyone was inferior to him except for his very best friends. For him to be able to boast that he bedded Lily 'Ice Queen' Evans would only make him a saint in the eyes of the boys. Lily did not intend to let that happen - ever.

Lily and her group of friends were known for their coldness towards boys. They were known for their tantalizing teasing. They were known most of all for the revenge they would inflict on the boys if they even tried to unzip their pants. It was no surprise then in fifth year when Lily Evans, Polly Markem, Alice Collins, and Natalie Caldwell became known as the 'The Ice Queens'. It came to the point when logical boys didn't even dare look at them in fear that the girls' wrath would be unleashed.

Polly Markem of Ravenclaw was the first to inflict unmanageable pain to a boy at the age of only fourteen. Kyle Preston was seen waddling down from his dorm room screaming as his hands clutch his crotch, his pants loosely around his ankles. The boy was too embarrassed to ever say what happened. Polly didn't say much either but suggested if they wanted to find out all they had to do was try to force her to have sex. The boys didn't take her up on her offer.

Lily Evans of Gryffindor was the next to impose horrible pain onto boys at the age of fifteen. Once, James Potter pushed her up against a wall and forced her into a bruising kiss. Even though he didn't try to bed her, she swiftly kicked him in the balls and proceeded to punch him in the nose before anything else could happen. Feeling creative, she banished his clothes and stormed off. James was more upset about her breaking his nose than leaving him without any clothes. For the next week, girls thanked Lily for letting them catch a nice view of the boy.

Natalie Caldwell of Slytherin was the next to humiliate a fellow Slytherin who tried making his move on her at the age of fifteen. She forced the boy off her, kneeing him as hard as she could. The incredible thing about it was that she went to a Gryffindor and a Ravenclaw who were known to seek their revenge on boys. Two days later, Bertram Audrey was tied half way up one of the goal posts on the Quidditch field naked. He was discovered missing when he didn't show up in the locker room to get ready for the big game against Gryffindor. The Slytherin Quidditch team found their seeker when they arrived to start the game. It was rumored that the scene was Lily Evan's idea but nothing was ever proven and none of the girls said anything.

Alice Collins of Hufflepuff was the last to torture a boy early into her sixth year. She was cornered in a classroom by her seventh year boyfriend Ravenclaw Trevor Alcove. Once he tried to coax her into pleasing him, she whipped out her wand and hit him swiftly in the head with a desk. He suffered a concussion with a fractured jaw and nose.

Lily, Polly, Natalie, and Alice all became friends through their encounters with boys. They were the beautiful girls who would sit by the lake every day together, talking, laughing, and enjoying their friendship. All were dedicated not to sleep around like half the female population of Hogwarts. They were content to wait for the one guy that they were truly in love with. That's why one day by the lake they made a pact to all wait until their soul mate, their true love came around.

Perhaps that was why Lily was so upset with James after he automatically tried to sleep with her once they started their snog session. They had been head girl and head boy together for nearly three months. In that time, James seemed to have matured and deflated his head. They got along and generally enjoyed patrolling together. She even considered dating him except that he hadn't asked since the end of sixth year.

They took a stroll around Hogwarts when it started raining. They were making their way back to the castle when he stopped her, tugging her to turn around and look at him. Thus, the kissing started. Then the running happened. Maybe if they just kept up the cliché act of kissing in the rain everything would have been fine. Why did he have to go and just expect her to have sex with him? Wasn't the kiss enough? A lovely kiss… oh, she already missed his soft lips.

The worst part of what happened was that she was fairly certain that she might be falling in love with the boy. Now, the seeds of doubt plagued her mind. What if he didn't love her back? What if him changing was just a huge ruse to bed her? How could anyone do that? Tears poured down Lily's face as she made her way into the castle. She was so stupid to fall for him and his act. He was a teenage boy, what else could she expect?

You wanted it to happen, the small voice in her head reminded her. You wanted him.

Revenge. That was the next step. It was always the next step. She would have to go to Polly, Natalie, and Alice and tell them exactly what happened. However, she didn't want revenge. She didn't want anything but to have him love her back. Why couldn't he just love her back? Was it too much to ask? Lily sank to the ground, unable to walk any longer. Why did it have to hurt so much? Why did she have to fall for him? A thousand whys clouded her mind, and she was certain that the questions would never stop coming. She just didn't understand why love had to hurt so much.

"Lily!" an out of breathe James shouted. "Lily!"

"Get away!" she yelled back as she forced herself to stand up.

Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Hadn't he embarrassed her enough? Didn't he already know that he broke her heart, her spirit? Couldn't he just leave her alone and wait for his revenge that would never come?

"I didn't… I mean… Lily, I wasn't going to force you to do anything you didn't want to do!"

"Like hell," she snapped back as her courage finally started to build up, "I was just your little project. Let's bed Lily Evans to receive ultimate bragging rights."

"Lily, I love you."

"If you loved me, you wouldn't have pulled a stunt like that," she shot back coldly, her eyes flaring.

"I'm just used to things going fast in a relationsh-"

"We are not in a relationship! You never once asked me out!" He stared at her dubiously.

"Were you in a coma for the past two years when I asked you out at least every other day?"

"You never asked sincerely," she whispered. "Now I know why. You never cared for me. You only wanted sex."

"Merlin, are you that conceited?"

"Don't talk about being conceited with me!"

"Has it ever occurred to you that I matured? That I am now seeing that being an utter arse will get me nowhere in life? Merlin, Lily, I thought you understood me better than that. I thought we… I thought we were really getting to know each other on these patrols, at these meetings. I guess you're not mature enough to realize that I'm different, that I changed for you."

"I don't want you to change for me, James." She let out a sob. "I want you to change because you want to change."

"I did want to change. I wanted to change because I love you too damn much for some insane reason. I could have my pick at any girl in this whole damn school, but I can't stop thinking about you. I can't get your face out of my head, out of my dreams. It's like you infected me… and I need you to go on or something." He licked his lips and swallowed. "I would do anything you asked of me."

"Prove to me that you love me and that I'm not just another notch in your belt."

"Okay. Fine. All right. Done. Done." He stepped forward and rested his hands on her shoulders. "Just tell me how I can prove it to you."

"I don't know," she murmured, "just let it happen because I'm fairly certain I might be falling for you, and I don't want to get hurt. I refuse to let you hurt me."

He leaned forward, kissing her lightly on the forehead. Pulling back, he stared into her eyes and nodded his head slowly. His hands left her shoulders as he pulled away from her. Stuffing his hands in his drenched trousers, he walked off towards the staircases with his shoes squeaking on the stone floors. Lily raised a hand and covered her mouth, not really believing that James Potter just might be in love with her.

A week passed and nothing happened. She barely said two words to James. Maybe he wasn't going to prove that he loved her because there was nothing to prove. Could she be so stupid to believe that he did love her? How naïve could she be to actually think he would prove himself to her?

She sat in Gryffindor common room, her potions book propped idly on her thighs. Her attempt at studying wasn't happening. Every word read something completely different; every picture was replaced with a single boy's face. She reached the peak of her obsession with James Potter. As more time passed, the more she became obsessed with the very notion that they were perfect for one another, soul mates in their own right. Closing the book with a snap, Lily looked up to see a black owl pecking at the window. Looking around the room, no one even took notice of the bird. Getting up, Lily went to the window to let the bird in. However, it didn't go far as it stuck its foot out for her.

The letter was folded and her name shown in scarlet ink in elegant handwriting. She unfolded the letter to read:

Dearest Lily,

I'm sure that by now you were expecting me to have forgotten all about you, but I'm certain that you also know the chemistry between us is still there. Chemistry is such an odd thing. It's so indefinable, so random, but oh so everything. Without chemistry, I daresay I would have given up on you long ago. Certainly, no one knows who will become one's ultimate confidant, soul mate, lover. The one you least expected to, the one you never took notice of, the one who used to poke fun at you because you looked like a small, little radish. Perhaps, you never saw me as anything but that stupid berk who plays juvenile, cruel pranks on anyone I don't like. There's more to me though. There's another layer under the cocky jock. Meet me right now on the fifth floor in the abandoned classroom. I'll show you just how uncocky, uncruel, unjuvenile, unberky I can be.

- James

Stuffing the letter into her jean pocket, Lily made her way out of the dormitory. Her mind raced as she tried to figure out what exactly James could be planning. There wasn't a lot two people could do in an abandon classroom that could win her heart over, make her trust him. She had a million reasons not to go to him, but that one reason pestered her mind and made her go.

Once she got there, she opened the door to see Sirius Black standing there in a suit, his hair combed perfectly, and clad in suit. He held two pieces of parchment. A lopsided smile appeared on his face, but Lily ignored it. Behind the boy was a small, round table set for two with a candle centerpiece. Her eyes wandered around looking for James, but he was nowhere to be seen.

"I'm assuming you have a reservation?" Sirius asked in a polite tone.

"Uh…" Lily hesitated, "Evans?"

Sirius's smile grew wider. He pulled out a small notepad from his pocket and looked it over. Shaking his head, he looked up at Lily.

"I'm sorry; there is no reservation for Evans. Perhaps it's under the name of the person you are meeting."

"Potter then."

"Ah, Potter," said Sirius as he looked at the pad. "Would you happen to have a first time to clarify?"

At that point, a roll came flying out of nowhere and hit Sirius in the back of the head. His hand immediately touched the back of his head and looked down to where the weapon of choice laid on the floor. Lily placed a hand over her mouth to try to suppress the giggle rising in her throat.

"Whatever, yeah, the Potter party is this way," he said bitterly as he led Lily to the small table. "Your party should be here soon."

He threw the parchment on the table and jogged off to the dark corner of the classroom. Picking up one of the papers, she noticed it was a menu. Her eyes scanned the contents as she heard two voices hissing at one another. The corners of her mouth tugged upwards as she concentrated on the whispers.

"You're an arse, Pads," one hissed.

"Hey, who is the one playing along with you? You're just putting too much effort in this and taking it too seriously. She's just a girl, Mate."

"She's not just a girl, Sirius. She's the girl."

"Please, save me the sentimental crap."

"Would you just do your job, okay?"

Lily could hear footsteps behind her. Soon enough, James Potter appeared dressed in slacks, a white dress shirt, and a scarlet tie. He sat down across from her and smiled in greeting. Her eyes shot up to the boy's hair which was oddly laying flat on his head.

"Sorry about that. It's so hard to find good help these days," James announced with a smirk.

"I heard that!" Sirius shouted from somewhere behind her which made the smile on her face widen.

"And he just has to ruin this for me," James replied in a soft whisper. "He thinks this is corny."

"It's sweet," Lily told him as she reached across to grab his hand in hers. "It shows me that you care at least, especially since you did something with that hair of yours. Gosh, what did you do to it?"

"You would have to talk to my hairdresser, the great Remus Lupin who found some sort of serum for it."

"It's… weird. I kind of liked your hair all crazy-like."

James let out a small chuckle of relief. He reached up and messed up his hair as best as he could. Lily noticed that he cut it shorter, most likely to try to contain it easier. James stared at his hands and quickly wiped them on the nearest napkin. He blushed slightly.

"It's really sticky," he declared which made Lily laugh.

"So this is your plan of winning me over?"

"It was supposed to be, but I guess it's not going as smoothly as I planned," James said as his eyes looked past her at something. "I didn't find the best person to pull this together with."

"Sirius thinks it corny."

"Exactly. He doesn't understand why I'm putting so much effort and thought into this. He doesn't understand the concept of love."

"That's… sad."

Soon enough, Sirius appeared by the side of the table with his jaw clenched. He rolled his eyes and stared at the two people in front of him. He asked what they would have for the evening. James smirked as he reached into his pocket. He pulled out some money and slipped it to his best friend.

"Be nice," James mouthed.

"Don't bribe me," Sirius mouthed back as he pocketed the coins with a roll of the eyes.

"I'll have the pasta," James ordered as he handed his friend the bit of parchment.

"And for you, milady?"

"The chicken," Lily ordered as she too handed Sirius her menu.

"Be right up," said Sirius as he turned his attention to his friend. "You owe me big time, Prongs."

"Don't I know it, Pads."

Sirius walked away and out of the classroom. James, whose smile was wider than ever, turned to look at Lily. She couldn't help but smile with him. She couldn't recall a time when she smiled so much that he cheeks hurt.

"I've been thinking about what I could say to convince you why I think we belong together," he started, "and I can only think about listing the things I love about you. Corny, I know, but bear with me?"

"Sure."

"Okay, well, I love your hair. It's all red and shiny. I love your smile, because when you smile all the freckles on your nose scrunch up together. I love your eyes, because they're the brightest, greenish eyes I've ever seen in my life. I love that you're sarcastic and witty when you want to be. I also love how you're true to yourself. I love how you're the only one who can make me feel like an utter arse and make me regret the things I do. I love how you excel at potions, and you're in Slughorn's little Slug Club. I love that you hate defense because you always see the good in people, and it's so hard for you to see the real evil that's out in the world. I love that have a friend in every house at Hogwarts. I love that you can just burst out laughing at random times because you're thinking about something that happened last week. I love that a people can insult you, can be utterly mean to you, but you still find it in your heart to defend them. I love how you hate heights, and Quidditch scares you because it's so you have to fly so high. I love that you're beautiful, but you don't think you're beautiful. I love you, Lily Evans, and I want to spend the rest of my life together."

Tears burned Lily's eyes as she stared at the boy in front of her. If someone would have told her two years ago that he could be so sweet, so kind, so loving and that Lily would be falling madly in love with him, she would have laughed in the person's face. James Potter was nothing like she expected him to turn out. She imagined him being a rich snob who would bribe his way out of jail. She imaged him to marry purely based on looks and live that socialite lifestyle. She expected him to become a model or some other conceited occupation. She never thought that he could be everything that she ever wanted in a boy.

"I also love how you always try so hard not to cry," James added as he stood up and walked to the side of her chair. "I love how you make my heart beat five times faster when I'm around you and ten times faster when I touch you."

He reached out his hand. She took it and allowed him to help her up. She stared into his eyes that were filled with nothing but warmth and love. She placed her hands on his chest as his hands rested comfortably on her sides. Leaning forward, she kissed him softly on the lips. Pulling away, she searched her mind to say something to him. However, there was only three words burning in her mouth.

"I love you," she whispered.

"Then, would you do me the great honor of becoming my girlfriend?"

James reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a small black box. He opened it slowly. A silver chain was inside with an emerald lily hanging from it. Lily smiled and reached down to pick it up. It was so beautiful. She nodded her head as she handed him the necklace. Turning around, she lifted her hair up. She felt James's gentle hands fastening the latch of the necklace against her neck. Her body tingled as his hands rested on her shoulders. He leaned forward and softly kissed the side of her neck.

"Does this mean that you officially don't hate me anymore?"

"Definitely."

"Does this mean that you'd pick me over the giant squid?"

"You're pressing your luck," she mocked as she turned around to look at him. "The giant squid and I have a very exclusive relationship."

"I'll keep that in mind."

James leaned forward and planted a kiss on her lips. She laughed softly as she parted her lips to kiss him fully. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she leaned into him fully confidant that his intentions were well put. The door opened behind them, and Lily heard a male voice groan. James pulled away from her and gaze at the newcomer.

"Sirius, I don't think we'll be needing that food anymore."

"Speak for yourself," Lily interrupted. "We're on our first date. You brought me here to eat, so we're going to eat."

"You sure picked a bossy one, Prongs."

"Shut it, Pads."

Author's Notes - Okay, so I had this idea stuck in my head for awhile, so I decided just to make it into a one-shot of how exactly Lily accepted James's date request. Hope you enjoyed and don't forget to review.