Lily got up, after hitting the snooze button on her alarm three times, like she always did. She tripped over her roommate's shoes on her way to the bathroom. She had breakfast and read the newspaper, and everything was normal until the post arrived.
She recognized his handwriting immediately. She almost didn't open it, she hadn't heard from him in 3 long months. "Him" being James Potter, who she had dated for a year but who had broken up with her on graduation day. James Potter was the reason Lily was miserable. She couldn't bring herself to stop loving him or even attempt to try. She opened the envelope carefully, as if she was afraid it would burst into flames.
Tonight? 7pm? Our Spot? Please?
At first Lily had no idea what to think or feel. She hadn't heard a word from him since they broke up and suddenly out of the blue he wants to meet her. Her immediate response was to ignore it, not to meet him. And as much as she hated herself for it, she found that she was physically aching to see him again. But she couldn't think of what he wanted to see her about. She couldn't think of anything they had to talk about. She loved him and he had broken her heart. They didn't have anything to talk about.
It couldn't hurt to hear what he had to say, Lily told herself. Could it?
So at 7pm Lily made her way to 'their spot'. It was a lone tree just outside Hogwarts grounds, on the very top of a hill. He wasn't there yet.
She looked around and saw him approaching. Her heart started to race just seeing his figure, as he was too far away for her to see his features. But he hadn't changed. He still made her heart race, he still made her want to run up and kiss him, to hug him and tell him how much she had missed him. And that scared her, so she did what came naturally: she hid behind the tree.
A few minutes later, she could hear him approach. She had her back pressed against the trunk of the tree, so he couldn't see her. She heard him lean against the tree at the other side. She slid down the trunk and sat on the ground. James did the same.
"You came," he said.
"I came," she replied. She didn't know what to say to him. What are you meant to say during an occasion like this? There was nothing to say.
"I didn't think you would," he said. His hand appeared round the tree and he took Lily's hand in his. They still couldn't see each other.
"I almost didn't," said Lily quietly. She hated the way she reacted to his touch. Shivers ran down her entire body, he was so…James. Words couldn't describe the way she felt when he touched her.
"I'm glad you did. Thank you."
"What am I doing here? What do you want?" asked Lily, her voice sounding stronger than she felt.
"Right now? I want to see you," said James, squeezing her hand.
"I don't want to see you," said Lily, again her voice stronger and harsher than she felt. But she knew if she saw James face to face, he would know exactly how she was feeling and how badly he had hurt her. He didn't need to know that.
"Okay, that is fair enough I suppose," said James, disappointment and hurt evident in his voice.
"Why did you want me to meet you?" she asked. She was trying to pull her hand away, but he wouldn't let go and she really didn't put up much of a fight.
"I wanted to see you, to talk to you," said James, noticing that she was trying to pull her hand away, but he couldn't let go. He couldn't let her go again. "I've missed you so much."
"Is there anything in particular you wanted to talk about?" Lily asked.
Why does he have to be so nice about it? Lily thought to herself. Can't he see I'm already struggling?
"Let me see you?" he asked again. He had to see her face, he had to tell her what he had to say face to face.
"I don't want to see you," said Lily, her voice wavering slightly. She sucked in a quick, silent breath and fought back tears, pushing the feelings away and carefully tucking them away where she didn't have to feel them. "You said you wanted to talk. So talk!"
"Lily… please don't be upset. Is everything alright? Nothing has happened to you has it?" he asked, his voice full of worry. Maybe that was why she wouldn't let him see her, something had happened to her. She could be hurt.
"I'm fine!" insisted Lily, although James knew by her voice that she was anything but fine.
"I know you're not fine. You can tell me. Did you have a fight with… your boyfriend?" he said the last word painfully. It hurt just to think about Lily with someone else, that she had a boyfriend that wasn't him and he had no one to blame but himself.
"No," was all Lily said. She didn't tell him she didn't have a boyfriend. She didn't tell him she hadn't even thought about dating since him.
"None of your damn business!" she snapped.
He deserved it, he knew he had no right to ask her about his life. He had lost that right when he had let her go. But James comforted himself with the fact that at least she had come.
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"What the hell does that have to do with you?" said Lily angrily. She succeeded in pulling her hand away from James'. She stood up and brushed herself off. "I shouldn't have come. This is a mistake. Have a nice life James." Then she ran off down the hill in the opposite direction of where James was facing.
It took James all of three seconds to go after her. He had let her go once, and he wasn't about to do it again. He sprinted down the hill after her. By time she had made it to the bottom he was already in front of her.
"I'm sorry," he panted, grabbing Lily's arm to stop her running off again.
"James, let me go!" pleaded Lily, not looking at James.
"Not yet. Please hear me out," he asked, trying to stop her struggling.
"What?" she shouted at him angrily, still trying to pull her arm from his grip. "What could you possibly have to say to me?"
"I just want you to answer one question. One question, and then I'll let you go," said James passionately.
"What?" sighed Lily. She still couldn't look at him, she couldn't look into those eyes. She would crumble, she knew she would.
"Are you happy? In your life are you happy?"
"James, what is this? What are you up to?"
"I just want to know if you're happy. Tell me honestly that you are and I'll go and I'll never bother you again," said James, holding onto her arms tighter. He couldn't risk her running again.
"If I say I'm not?"
"I'm going to ask, 'why not'," said James seriously. His heart was racing. Now maybe he did have a chance with her again.
"So really you're asking two questions?"
"Yes, but you just answered my first question. So Lily, why aren't you happy?"
"I don't know," she lied, and looked up at him. But not at his eyes, she couldn't look at them. She couldn't see that look, that concerned loving look.
"Lily…" he said gently. He took a hand off her arm, and curled a finger under her chin. He gently lifted her head to look at him. "I still love you. I want… no, I need you to be happy. You used to be so happy, I just want to make sure you still are."
"Why do you care?" said Lily defiantly.
"I told you. I love you and I need to know you are happy."
"I'm not," she said and she started struggling with him again.
"Lily, stop it…" he said, trying to restrain her.
"Stop hurting me!" she screamed at him.
"I'm sorry," said James, immediately letting go.
"Can't you just leave me alone? I wish I'd never come here! Why do you have to do this to me?" said Lily, on the verge of tears.
"I love you, I want to make you happy. I want you back, I want another chance," James blurted out.
"Another chance? Just like that? You ended things with me, remember? Not the other way round! I am not going through that again when you get bored!" Lily shouted at him, tears welling up in her eyes.
"When I get… bored? Bored? Never, I never got bored!" said James incredulously.
"Then what? Why did you do it? I thought everything was fine and then you ended it!"
"I'm sorry, I thought I was doing the right thing."
"The right thing? Hurting someone that loves you more than anything in the entire world! Tell me how was that the right thing!"
"It wasn't," sighed James. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I hurt you…"
"Hurt me? Hurt me? You did a hell of a lot more than that! I trusted you! Solely and completely, and you pissed all over that!" shouted Lily.
"I'm sorry Lily. If I could change it I would," pleaded James. "I didn't know. But I've been so miserable without you. I just needed to see if you missed me at all."
"Miss you? Of course I miss you, I miss you all the damn time! But I've had three long months to get used to it!"
"I haven't gotten used to it, I haven't gotten used to not having you around! And I can't stop loving you, I can't stop… needing you! I can't stop…" said James desperately.
"James…" said Lily speechless. She hadn't expected his outburst.
"Give me another chance. Please, let me make it up to. Let me do whatever it takes to make you happy."
"Why should I?"
"Because if you love me half as much as I love you then you'll know that we aren't meant to be apart. You'll know that there is nobody out there that will love you as much as I do. You'll know that we need each other and you'll know I made a stupid mistake. I thought I was protecting us from the heartache of our relationship crumbling once we left school. So give me…no give us a second chance and I'll never let you go again."
"Okay," Lily whispered.
"Okay? You mean it? You'll give me another chance?"
James finally reached out and pulled Lily into his arms. She snuggled into him, savoring the feel, the smell and everything else about him.
They had been apart too long.