Disclaimer: The characters belong to JK Rowling. I just like playing with her ideas
This story is dedicated to Lola-LessThanThree, who gave me the idea to write it, and who always leaves me beautiful reviews.
The name, those two small words, conjured up so many images and emotions within her that Lily Evans wasn't quite sure what to do with herself. She stood there, staring at the name on the Prefects Patrol roster, a tiny half-smile spread across her dainty mouth. When she saw those words – those two, little words – she thought instantly of his crop of messy black hair, of his hazel eyes, flecked with gold… of the way the light caught on his glasses, when he wore them, and of the way he half-squinted when he didn't. Lily didn't care how many times he insisted Remus had performed a clarity spell on his eyes; the spell was clearly defective, or something… and she would never tell him this, because secretly, Lily found that squint rather adorable.
But there was something Lily found even better than reading his name: to write those two simple words, well now that was something.
The graceful, yet precise, curve of the J reminded Lily of his Quidditch-honed reflexes, the 's' of his effortlessness. The P stood for precision, and the rest… It was strange, actually, that some letters stood out for her, while others didn't. Lily shrugged, absently. That minor revelation probably meant something deep and important, but right at this very minute, she couldn't be bothered to psychoanalyze herself.
Lily sat back, the tip of her quill resting against her top lip, and smiled contentedly. She watched the ink gleam in the candlelight, and then fade as it dried. There was something calming about his name, sitting there on the parchment, staring up at her expectantly…
Lily froze. They had decided, this year, to call each other by their first names, since they would be working together so much. It seemed… friendlier… the first steps toward some sort of relationship where neither yelled loudly and unrestrainedly at the other. Lily felt quite grown up, hearing her name on his lips so often: as if it signaled their progression toward maturity, and thus adulthood. And, really, hearing her name on his…
Lily snapped to attention, and turned to face him, feeling rather sheepish.
"Hey James," she greeted him softly, meeting his eyes and giving him a small smile.
James sighed and shook his head. "Were you even paying any attention?"
Lily's smile widened ruefully. "I'm sorry. I was a million miles away…"
The girl with fire in her hair,
And laughter in her eyes.
They glitter with life, and love, and magic
And every time I have the chance
I gaze into them with all my might
And fall just a little further in love with her.
James coughs uncomfortably, and I follow his gaze down to the parchment spread out before me. Oh dear, how terribly awkward…
It seems that I have been caught staring at a piece of parchment that reads nothing more than "James Potter."
Although I suppose it could be worse. The words James Potter could be followed with a phrase, something along the lines "… is bloody gorgeous."
Or something like that.
I feel the heat rise in my cheeks, and know instantly that I am blushing. As much as I rather like the way I look, the tendency to blush is definitely a downside to being fair-skinned.
"So…." James tries to break the silence. The look on his face is apologetic, and I watch him gratefully as he throws me a lifeline. "What are you doing?"
"Oh," I fumble, and then an idea strikes me. I smile winningly. "Just drawing up the new prefect's roster."
To the Worst Liar in the Whole Wide World
I caught you. You don't need to hide it. In fact, I must say, I find it rather irresistible.
We should go out some time, just you and I.
Yeah right – sorry, but you must realize I've been after you for years, and to be honest, I was almost ready to give up, but something (it might be the blank piece of parchment with my name scrawled across it that you were staring at) tells me that I shouldn't give up just yet.
Not that you'll ever go out with me.
Your Not So Secret Admirer
P.S. You have no idea how beautiful you look when you blush.
James nodded, frowning slightly and biting the inside of his cheek as he took the seat beside Lily.
"Right-o. What night are we on next week?"
Lily dipped her quill into the inkpot, and hurriedly scribbled a name beside his. Lily Evans.
James watched her quill glide along the table to form the delicate L, and then a few moments later, the elegant E. Those letters, that name, those two small words, entranced him. He suspected that he had never seen, and was unlikely to see again, a word so beautiful as 'Lily'. That word rolled off his tongue, musically trailing through the air, pure magic. It stood for love, and hope, and a happiness he yearned for but could never quite reach. The unattainable.
That's what she was to him: beautiful, vibrant, and unattainable.
"I was thinking Wednesday."
Her voice, that quiet, gentle lilt, cut through his thoughts. Not for the first time did James wonder at the origin of Lily's accent. It was as musical as her name itself, and every time she spoke he couldn't help but feel entranced.
"Wednesday's good," he heard himself agree.
Any time alone with you is good.
Lily nodded, in a business like fashion, and yawned. She checked her watch, and started in surprise.
"Goodness it's late!"
James found it impossible to tell whether she was embarrassed and making an excuse to leave, or whether she was genuinely tired.
"It is," he agreed quietly, silently willing her to stay.
Much to his surprise, although Lily had rolled up her scroll and put away her quill and ink, she remained seated.
James watched her in the flickering firelight. Her eyes seemed an even deeper green tonight, blue and golden flecks dancing around her pupils.
He played with his hands, unsure of what to say. Somehow, this time, it was up to Lily to break the silence.
Sometimes I watch her, sitting by the fire alone, long after most of the House has departed for bed. Often, she's set aside the book she was reading, and sometimes she will be marking the page with her hand, still… But she's a million miles away, staring into the fire as if it holds all the answers to the questions that she is too afraid to speak.
And just sometimes, as I sit and watch her, I wish that she would confide in me.
"I was actually thinking about you, before," I confess quietly.
He has been staring at his hands, playing with his long, steady fingers and looking unsure. And I just sat there, watching him. I think it even crossed my mind that I could sit and watch him play with his fingers all night.
Whatever that means.
But with my words, his head jerks up, and his eyes meet mine, searchingly.
"You were?" he asks, and his voice is raspy.
Raspy, and the words flow out, deeper than usual, and gravelly. And somehow, I am drawn to those words; those words that spill so effortlessly from those lips.
I watch those lips as they quiver, unsure of whether or not to smile.
"I think about you quite a bit, actually."
Now words spill from my own lips, and I don't quite have control of them. I don't intend to tell him this, and yet, I'm confident in his knowing this already. I don't really mind telling James this.
"Really?" he asks, forever questioning my truths.
I smile to reassure him of my sincerity.
"I think about you too," he tells me quietly, although he can't manage to meet my eyes.
Instead, he looks at my hands, at my long, thin fingers, so clumsy. His own hand reaches out, and brushes against mine uncertainly.
"Every time I read your name, I think about you."
My eyes dart up and meet his, and he seems shocked at my shock. Those eyes are now defensive, as if to say, what? I thought we were being honest?
"Me too," I agree, so that he doesn't misunderstand.
James exhales, and I sense his relief.
Watching his face, feeling his hands on mine, it is almost as though I can read his thoughts.
We hold hands, almost unconsciously, as though this sort of thing is normal.
She tells me that she thinks about me, all the time.
And I tell her that I think about her too, all the time.
Just maybe, we aren't so different, she and I.
We hold hands, almost unconsciously, as though this sort of thing is normal.
James grips Lily's hands, and it is with equal strength that she returns his hold.
And it is this strength that convinces him to take a chance.
"I really like you, Lily Evans. Well, not really like. I fancy you, but it's more than fancy. I…"
She cuts him off, as if to spare him from fumbling over his tumultuous thoughts.
"I've never felt like this about any one else, either," she says, and he nods.
After all, that is exactly what he is trying to say.
"It's terrifying," he manages, and she looks at him sharply, astonished.
James smiles ruefully. "A good scary," he reassures her.
He leans forward, and gives her hands a little squeeze, as if to support his words.
And she leans forward too.
"Lily Evans, I want to kiss you right now."
Lily Evans smiles.
To my dearest Lily,
I dreamt about you again, last night.
Well, actually, I dreamt about us. We were dancing around the courtyard, and it was raining a bit, but the sun was out, and you were laughing.
And all I knew, and all I needed to know, was that I'd never been so happy.
I love you,
James Potter sat alone in the common room, watching the fire die. Lily had gone upstairs to bed moments before, but James wasn't feeling tired in the least. Instead, he watched the fire, as though that held all the questions that he had answers to.
A sudden draft shot out of the fireplace and across the room, rustling the curtains and making something scrape, gently, across the table.
James smiled, watching it roll across the tabletop. Just before it reached the edge, he rescued it, scooping it up deftly into his sure hands.
He unrolled it, watching the gentle flow of letters that ran across its surface.
James Potter Lily Evans, the parchment now read.
James cast his gaze around, and sure enough, there sat Lily's school bag. The tip of her quill was sticking out, and James figured it wouldn't be too intrusive to borrow it for a moment. The ink bottle… well, she'd never know, anyway.
He spread the scroll across the table once more, and slowly, with great care, set the quill to the parchment, his careful fingers guiding the ink around a time honoured symbol.
James finished with a small flourish and sat back to admire his handiwork.
A small, satisfied smile crept across his face, and reflected in his eyes.
The wet ink of the love heart glistened in the dying firelight as it dried, set between their two names as though it had always been intended to appear there.
James waited until the ink had dried, before once more rolling the parchment back into it's scroll, and setting the ink, quill and parchment back into Lily's bag.
Tomorrow morning, he hoped, she would find it, and smile.
A/N: This is just a small and very random one-shot that I hope you all enjoyed! I'd love to hear what you think, so please leave me a review!