A/N: Happy Deathly Hallows Almost-Release Day! Here's some nice, fluffy James and Lily. After all, without them, there would be no Harry Potter to star in book seven. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Not mine.
"I want you to marry me."
James Potter turned around abruptly, hazel eyes wide, lips parted in shock. He wasn't quite sure what was going on…was he hallucinating? He had to be. There was no other possible explanation for this situation.
But it was too real to be a hallucination.
"I want you to marry me. Soon. And I'm proposing to you. Right now, ring me damned. It all be damned. Just…marry me."
Lily Evans quickly stumbled out of her chair. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes shining, wisps of red hair falling out of her ponytail and brushing against her face. She clasped her hands together, biting her lip softly.
"I want you to marry me. We could have a huge, horrible wedding and invite all our relatives, then watch them argue and fight and get drunk and tell stories about our childhood. Black could be your best man, and he could make some horrid, raunchy speech that'll horrify everyone in the room except for you. I could wear an awful, long dress that is hot and uncomfortable and ostentatious jewelry and then get tipsy and dance horribly. Then we could go on a trip to some foreign country and lock ourselves in our room and talk and talk about our future and how wonderful life is going to be.
"Then we can have children. Even though children annoy me, and I despise minding them, I want yours. A boy. Or a girl. Or both. Or four of them. It doesn't matter. Just—children. Your children.
"We could get a quaint cottage? Do you like those? I don't. I'd rather live in the middle of London. But I could handle a cottage. Because we'd be married, and it'd be nice, and our four children wouldn't get run over by cars.
"We could get a dog. Or a cat. Or perhaps a goldfish. I've always been fond of goldfish. I had one when I was ten. His name was Oliver. Petunia fed him to her cat. You know, I've always hated her for that.
"And then you could forget our anniversary, and I could yell at you for forgetting, and you could compose some horrible love poem to get back in my good graces. We could force your mates to mind our children whilst we go out on a romantic date, and then I could get angry when our baby's first word is something dirty.
"We could send our children off to Hogwarts and find our youth again in our empty house, then have huge Christmas celebrations every year, with Remus and Black and Pettigrew and Alice and Frank and Kingsley and their families and children and everyone else. It could be perfect.
"Then we could die together, on the exact same day, when our children are old and married and we already have a slew of grandchildren. We wouldn't have to miss each other and everything would be alright and we would be fine, and dead, but it wouldn't matter, because we would both be gone.
"So, let's get married. Tomorrow. Or next weekend. Or three weeks from now. We could get rings and dresses and invite our families, or maybe elope. Really, this is what I want…all I want, truly. I want you, James Potter. I want to marry you. So say yes. Marry me."
Lily looked up at James, eyes wide and anxious, hair a mess, chest heaving. James surveyed her for a moment. She had to be mad. There was no other explanation. Lily Evans would never do this. But maybe…should he humor her?
"Lily…" he started. He reached out hesitantly for her hand, and she immediately curled hers around his. "If we got married, we would have to have a huge wedding. And I would have to invite my Uncle Henry, whose main purpose in life is to consume enormous amounts of firewhiskey at weddings. Sirius would make a speech that would be guaranteed to make you glare at me for a week and scar everyone else for life. I'd prefer you in a not awful, comfortable dress, because I don't want you complaining on our wedding day—and, yes, you would complain. And instead of traveling, we could just lock ourselves in our flat and not come out for a week. That way, there would be no possibility of food poisoning, which I have gotten every single time I have traveled outside Britain.
"Children annoy me, too, but for some reason, they seem to like me. And your children would be adorable and red-headed and clever and feisty and whingy, but the last thing wouldn't matter. They'd be absolute terrors, especially combined with my genes, but we'd love them anyway. Any more than two, though, and I'll have to throw myself off the roof.
"I'd rather a nice flat in London, too. Or near London. We could live in a Wizarding community, where they're still figuring out how to pronounce 'electricity', and suggesting that they drive a car is the equivalent of telling them to hop on a dragon—frankly, I don't blame them, because cars scare me. Dragons don't get into nearly as many crashes.
"You see, I know this dog. And this rat. And this stag. And, occasionally, a wolf. I have a feeling they wouldn't much like a cat—the dog hates them, the rat is terrified by them, and the wolf is allergic—and I can't handle any more dogs. Fish are okay, though. I like fish. And I once had a toad named Oliver. He and my cousin's toad, Delilah, ran off together and had baby toads. I cried for an hour.
"I wouldn't forget our anniversary, because Remus would remind me. He always remembers things like that. He'd charm it across my forehead, or something. Still, I wouldn't mind writing awful poetry. I know it's awful, because Peter said that no one in their right mind rhymes 'romance' with 'dragon leather pants'. Sirius has informed me that any child that I have will have 'Padfoot' as its first word, 'Sirius' as its second, and something dirty as its third. Moony has decided that 'Shakespeare' is a nice word, whatever that is. Wormtail is rather partial to 'pie'.
"If you like your sanity, never invite Sirius to a Christmas party. Ever. And never let him give you eggnog, either. He would scar everyone for life, even more than with the best man speech. You would also probably lock me in a closet for a week, and that wouldn't be too perfect.
"I'd love to die the same day as you. I hate missing people. That would be perfect. It would, Lily.
"I love you. You know I love you. I've told you that for years. I've told you so many times, you once hexed me silent for three days. And this conversation is one of the oddest I've ever had—and that's saying a lot, because I've lived with three of the oddest people on this planet for years."
"And?" Lily prompted. She was high on adrenaline, high on hope, high on anxiety. She reached out and clutched the fabric of James's jumper, looking at him impatiently.
"I'm quite sure that you've gone mad," James said. "Almost positive, really. Because a sane Lily Evans would never ask me to marry her."
"I don't think I can marry you, Lily."
Lily visibly deflated. Her face fell, her hands dropped to her sides, and she sunk into the chair. James hurriedly kneeled in front of her, placing two fingers under her chin. She slowly looked up, meeting his eyes.
"Lily, did you miss the part where I said I loved you?" he asked gently, smiling. "I do want to marry you—at some point. But for now, I was thinking…how about a first date?"
Lily looked at James for a moment, vivid green eyes wide, letting out a small yelp. Suddenly, she was aware of her surroundings, and how they most definitely weren't the Three Broomsticks, as they were in her fantasy. She was in James's seventh year dormitory, sitting in a chair in the corner, gazing James. Oh, Merlin. Kill me now. She started bringing the heel of her palm to her forehead repeatedly.
"I am mad," she muttered. "Delusional. Insane. Certifiable. I just proposed to you."
"It was a bit alarming," James admitted. "Most people like to date first. Or kiss. Or make some sort of non-violent physical contact."
Lily winced. "Sorry about that. It's just…you stopped annoying me, and I started to miss it, and I realized that I fancied you—hell, loved you—and I figured: 'Why not do it James Potter style?' All out. No boundaries. And I…proposed."
James grinned. "That's the best reason I've ever heard for a proposal."
"Merlin, I'm bloody mad, aren't I?"
"Extremely." James looked into Lily's eyes, smiling. "Yet, for some reason, I still find you maddeningly attractive."
Lily's smile was nervous and hopeful, two emotions James had never seen her direct towards him. In a thick voice, she asked quietly, "James Potter, would you do me the honor of accompanying me to Hogsmeade this weekend?"
"Lily Evans, I do believe I am inclined to do so," James replied cheekily. Leaning in, he bumped his lips against hers dryly, and she grinned, pulling him back in for a deeper kiss.
"On one condition, though," James said, holding up a finger and pulling away.
Lily looked at him, puzzled. "What?"
"The next time that there's a proposal, it will be made by me. Sirius, Remus, and Pete would never let me live it down if I accepted your marriage proposal."
Lily hit him playfully, rolling her eyes. "Fine. But it must be as interesting as mine."
"Deal," James agreed.
They sealed it with a kiss.
"Lily Evans, I want you to marry me. I want to have a horrible wedding with life-scarring speeches and drunk relatives. I want to have two obnoxious brats. I want a Wizarding flat near London, with no cars and many dragons. I want a goldfish named Oliver, and I want to almost forget our anniversary but really remember it. I want our baby's first word to be 'Padfoot'. I want Sirius to poison everyone with eggnog on a yearly basis to promote holiday cheer. And I want to die together, on the exact same day, so I'll never have to miss you. I want to marry you tomorrow or next weekend or three weeks from now. I want dresses and rings and everything. I want you, Lily Evans. I want you forever. So say yes. Marry me."
Lily didn't reply. Instead, she threw herself at James, hugging him tightly and burying her face into his shoulder.
"I love you," she whispered. "I love you, I love you, I love you."
James gently pulled her away, brushing her tears away with the pad of his thumb. He looked her straight in the eyes, almost giddy. Clutching at her jumper, he asked seriously, "Lily Evans, will you buy a goldfish with me?"
Lily nodded ferociously, holding out her left hand and letting James slip the ring on her finger. She smiled against his lips, whispering yes over and over again.
"Always, James," she promised. "Always."