Disclaimer: I do not own anything that I may have written down, except from plot. The characters, apart from maybe Emma, I got from the lovely, the talented, J.K. Rowling. This is my indirect way of saying "Please don't sue me."
Author's Note: I know that you get tired of hearing this, but this is my first ever one-shot, so I would really love to know what you think of it. Reviews will, of course, be appreciated, whether it be constructive criticism or positive comments. What matters is that you tell me what you think of it. I've added and changed a few bits according to the reviews, but the story shouldn't have changed too much. Hope you like it. :)
People always told her she operated different around different people. Around teachers she was Miss Lily Evans, brilliant straight 'O' student. Around her friends she was Lily, the clever one, the one they all approached to when they needed help in any form. Around other people in general, she was just Lily Evans, the shy one, the thoughtful one. But how she behaved around James was, apparently, an altered story…
"What do you mean, 'transformed?'" Lily asked huffily after Emma had proceeded to explain to her exactly what she thought.
"Not transformed as in split personalities transformed," stated Emma matter-of-factly, not even bothering to glance up at Lily from her newspaper, "but changed, a whole new person from how you act normally."
"Normally?" asked Lily, curious as to why people kept telling her this.
"It's like you're a different person," said Emma. How many times have they all told me that, Lily thought angrily, in those exact same words?
"How?" urged Lily, willing herself not to betray on her face the frustration she felt.
"I dunno, Lily, just different," commented Emma, looking at Lily over the top of her Daily Prophet through her sharp blue eyes. "You don't act like you do around him when you're around us."
"But how do I act?" pressed Lily, wanting to know.
"How am I supposed to know?" she snapped, returning to her newspaper, swinging her blonde hair over her shoulder while Lily exhaled noisily.
The endless arguments over the topic followed. She just craved to know, she had to know.
"I dunno," said James, once she had brought the subject up, playing with a strand of her curly red hair that had come loose from behind her ear. 'You act normal to me.'
"What do you mean normal?" said Lily enquiringly.
"Just normal, y'know. Normal." He kissed her cheek.
"Yeah, but what defines normal about me?"
"Yourself, I guess…" he stated, pulling her onto his lap from where she was sitting on the common room floor. "What's with all the sudden questions?"
"No reason," she said, stroking the hair that stuck up on the back of his neck, the hair that used to annoy her so much.
"Lils, normal or abnormal, I will love you just the same," he whispered into her ear, and kissed her lips softly. "Always have, always will…no matter what." He pulled her into a warm embrace, hugging her close.
"I love you too," she muttered into his shirt.
Again and again, no matter the amount of times she posed the question, she always got the same answer.
She opened her eyes, and sighing slightly, got up from the armchair she had been relaxing in for the past half hour near the fire. She made her way slowly to the vast window in the scarlet and golden coloured common room.
"Lils?" a voice that sounded very much like James's called to her softly.
"Sirius," she said, not even looking behind her to see the grey-eyed boy enter the room.
"Damn, how'd you know it was me?" whined Sirius.
"Just do," she replied as she felt a pair of arms slide around her waist. "Hey," she tilted her head to greet James. "Oh, and Sirius?" she called out.
"What?" yelled Sirius good-naturedly as he poked his head around the door before leaving, his hair falling elegantly into his eyes which gave him an almost dog-like yet adorable look.
"Don't call me Lils… Only James does that," she said wryly, feeling James's chest vibrate as he chuckled softly, and earned herself a little squeeze from James before he leaned in to kiss her.
"What's that you're reading?" asked James, once Sirius had left the room, referring to the book on the table next to the window.
"Romeo and Juliet," she said, turning her body to face him.
"Romeo and Juliet?" James looked at her mockingly. "Isn't that a Muggle book?'
"Yes, it is a Muggle book," said Lily, smiling, "which also happens to be one of the most famous romantic plays ever written."
"Ah, so Lily Evans is into soppy romance, is she?" said James teasingly.
"Shut up," she said, smacking him on his muscular arm playfully as he held her, making her feel secure in his embrace, which was as strong as it was gentle. "It's a tragic romance…No one who's supposed to have seen the play has left the theatre with dry eyes."
James was silent for a while, before saying, "D'you want to go and see it?"
"What?" Lily looked at him questioningly.
"The play. Romeo and Juliet. Do you want to see it?" he said, looking at her expectantly.
"Really?" Lily's eyes lit up as James laughed quietly again.
"Yes, really," he said, gazing into her eyes.
"But you hate plays!" exclaimed Lily. "Remember that time I dragged you down to watch Macbeth? You wouldn't stop moaning in my ear about how boring it was I couldn't hear a word they said!"
"Oh, yeah," said James, trying to suppress his amusement, but failed miserably as a grin broke out on his handsome features. "But this is completely diverse, don't you agree? Besides," he added, his hazel eyes sparkling behind his round glasses, "I'd do anything for you, you know that."
"Honestly?" Lily looked deep into his eyes, trying to find any hint of a lie.
"Honestly. Tell me to stop the sun shining, I'd do it. It's like the quote goes," he said, smiling as her almond-shaped emerald green eyes glinted. "Love is when you realise you'd do anything to make her happy."
"Is that even a real quote?" said Lily, laughing. "Who knew James Potter could be such a romantic!"
"Well, I don't know," James admitted, turning away as a faint crimson colour crept up his neck, "but it's true. So are we going, then?"
"James, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you wanted to go!" said Lily, her eyes gleaming jokingly.
"What? Who, me?' James said, looking around innocently. 'I don't want to go; I'm only doing this for you."
"Yeah, right, Potter," Lily grinned as he pulled her close, his face mirroring her expression.
A few months later…
"I will kiss thy lips; haply some poison yet doth hang on them, to make me die with a restorative," cried the actress playing Juliet, tears dripping down her face, before kissing the seemingly lifeless form of Romeo. "Thy lips are warm!"
"Lead boy: which way?" a harsh voice bellowed offstage.
"Yea, noise?-then I'll be brief.-O happy dagger!" she exclaimed, choking on her sobs as she seizes Romeo's spear.
Tears filled Lily's own eyes as a lump grew in her throat. "This is thy sheath; there rust and let me die." And with that, the actress made a huge show of stabbing herself with the obviously fake knife as tears streamed down Lily's face. She buried her face in James's jacket as he held her close, and Lily caught a glimpse of the tears brimming in his striking hazel eyes as well.
"James Potter, were you crying?" she asked half an hour later as they all filed out of the theatre after the play, her hand in James's confident grip.
"Me? James Potter? Cry?" he looked at her, trying and failing to look bewildered. "Those are words that shouldn't even be used in the same sentence!"
"James, I saw you," she said, looking into his eyes, which she knew would make it impossible for him to not tell her the truth.
"Fine. I cried, alright?" he said, blushing furiously as Lily laughed. "This doesn't leave the theatre, got that?" he added fiercely. Lily nodded, tears of laughter filling her eyes. "It was an emotional play!" he said, trying to defend himself, which set Lily off again.
After she had calmed down, she said soothingly, "It's good that you cried, you know. I don't mind it one bit."
"You don't?" James looked at her hopefully. Lily chuckled.
"No, I don't. Like you said, it was an emotional play. No one ever leaves not having cried." She smiled at the relief that had spread itself on James's face.
"So does this mean it doesn't leave the theatre?" he said, trying, with no avail, to look as though this was a throw-away question of no real importance to him.
"If you insist," she said, beaming happily. "After all, what happens in the theatre stays in the theatre."
"Thanks, Lils…" he hugged her close. "Knew there was a reason I'd picked you," he said, causing Lily to laugh again. "Love you." He planted a kiss on her forehead.
"Love you too," she sighed dreamily.
And all of a sudden it clicked. What her friends had said about her acting differently around James, what James said about her acting normal, it all just fixed itself into place.
She had never behaved as though she was a different person around James; she had done so with other people. James had never laughed at her, the rest of them did. James had never scoffed at her viewpoints, others did. James just accepted and loved everything about her.
It was never the fact that she had acted differently around James, transformed, as they had all put it. It was that she acted herself around James. She acted normal. He was the only person she was comfortable around, the only person she could be normal around. He made her feel like she could do anything, be anything, she wanted. He made her feel wanted and loved.
"You've been quiet," he breathed into her ear. "What's up?"
"Nothing," she replied, her face breaking out into a full-fledged beam, "nothing at all."
"Good…I wouldn't have it any other way," said James, and as their eyes met, she knew he understood what she meant.